CORE Launches Summer Campaign With Demi Lovato

For the second year running, Core Hydration is building its summer marketing campaign around one of its star shareholders.

The brand, which markets a premium water with a ‘balanced’ 7.4 pH level, announced today that singer/actress and brand investor Demi Lovato will be the face of a new primarily digital-based national marketing blitz that emphasizes “balance and authenticity,” according to Core president and operating manager Paul Nadel. The campaign kicks off this week and will run through August.

“Demi is open and honest about her challenges and her struggles as well as her success and her accomplishments and the fact that she’s not perfect and that it’s OK not to be perfect, but to try to live a balanced life,” Nadel told BevNET earlier this week.

Nadel called it a “broader campaign” compared to last year’s marketing activation, which featured singer Ellie Goulding and had a more fitness-oriented positioning. The marketing will feature Lovato pairing Core with various activities — performing, socializing, working out and lounging at home, for example — aimed to underscore the theme of balance. Lovato, who joined Core as an investor over two years ago, will feature in seven short-form videos for the brand as well for the digital portion of the campaign, which will be supported with out-of-home and retail media.

Lovato is just one of a slew of high-profile entertainers who are both investors and ambassadors for Core; that list includes Goulding, Grammy Award winner Katy Perry, DJ/producer Diplo, and model Karlie Kloss. Nadel said the company wasn’t specifically seeking a woman as the face of its advertising, nor does the company skew demographically towards females.

“We didn’t go out looking for a female entertainer; we looked for someone who was emblematic of what we care about, but also someone who has the reach,” he said, noting that Lovato has over 125 million combined followers on Twitter and Instagram. “There are not a lot of male entertainers who have that kind of reach.”

While Lovato will be the centerpiece for Core Hydration’s marketing, Nadel said the company is running a separate campaign for its flavored line extension, Core Organic, which launched in 2016. That program, he said, will highlight the product attributes, which, after a recent reformulation, include antioxidants and daily immunity support. According to data from market research group IRI, Core Organic recorded over $24 million in MULO plus C-store sales in a 52-week period ending on March 25, 2018.

“Obviously, part of the challenge of a national campaign is you have to make sure the consumer can find [the product,]” he said. “We really wanted to build up our Organic distribution to be larger before promoting it.”

As for the company’s next product — a natural energy drink called Core Energy — Nadel urged patience. He said Core tested the product in two markets — Northern California, through Dr Pepper Snapple distributors, and in the Philadelphia area with The Honickman Group — where he described it as “very successful.” Yet with the Hydration and Organic lines still growing, he projected Energy would be coming next year.

“There are too many cautionary tales about companies trying to do too much, too fast, and we don’t want to add to that list,” Nadel said. “We’ve got two tigers by the tail right now [in Hydration and Organic]; that energy market will be there next year. Right now we’ve got something very special, and we want to focus on that.”

Nadel also said that the company has directed resources towards investing in production optimizations for its co-packing partners as well. As BevNET reported in April, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Core has raised almost $39 million in funds over the past 12 months.

“We always want to make sure we have enough so we can build out and never have the money dictate negatively what we could do,” he said. “Which we do.”

Nadel also confirmed that music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald is no longer involved with the brand in any capacity, nor is he still an individual shareholder.