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From our Depsters June 05, 2019

Creating content for the alternative to tap water


Bruce de Kok enjoys sparking emotions within people in a creative manner. Especially over social media. It energises him. Thus, when Bar-le-Duc, a brand on a mission to offer bottled mineral water in the most environmentally friendly way possible, approached Dept almost two years ago needing help telling their story on social media, Bruce leapt at the opportunity.

Bruce started working at Dept in 2017 as a Content Creative. This entailed creating social content for numerous premium brands. As he continued doing what he loves, he started to dive deeper into creating social strategies and helping colleagues creating better content. He views the biggest competition to the content he creates to be the cute kitten photo posted by your neighbour on Instagram. Since many people do not want to see ads on their feed, one of the main challenges of his job is telling a brand’s story on social media without interrupting your valuable scroll time.

You want to see kittens, not ads. This is the challenge I face every day.

Bar-le-Duc was one of the first projects Bruce worked on. They commissioned the agency to help them share their story via social media. Bruce and his team of four were asked to create engaging content that would make the hearts tick of Bar-le-Duc’s target audience.

The brand sells bottled water, so Bruce thought he might have mixed feelings working on this project since he is environmentally conscious. However, after discovering more about the brand, he realised how down to earth they are. The fact that their drinks are healthy, cheap and they come in 100% recycled bottles won him over: “I actually swapped the Sprite I always used to have in my fridge for Bar-le-Duc’s sparkling citrus drink.”

Since the target audience is environmentally conscious, one of the hurdles was creating content that did not reflect all the stereotypes individuals have of people who care about the environment. Another challenge was telling the story of a brand that wants to improve their environmental footprint but that offers a product that is more impactful than tap water. Thus, Bruce and his team were very active when it came to community management, ensuring the brand was active in the comment section and responded to consumers. They wanted to have real conversations on social media with real people. They talked about their concerns and how Bar-le-Duc looks at those concerns.

As a brand you’ve got to have your story straight on social media, otherwise, people will see right through you.

One of his favourite moments of working with Bar-le-Duc was when he had the opportunity to create raw content that showcased the brand and their inclusiveness. Every big brand had done a post during Amsterdam Pride day, however, after the Nashville Declaration, many companies were silent. Bruce, seeing an opportunity, reached out to the brand asking them “Do you as a brand want to make a very clear statement that you are inclusive? Because now is the time.” And so they did. The team lined up the entire Bar-le-Duc range in a post, thus creating a rainbow flag with the brightly coloured caps. Above it, they put one of the brands USP’s: 100% natural. This statement was accompanied by the hashtag #loveislove. It was a reaction that was true, honest and, for a brand, daring. “On behalf of the brand, we reacted with the fact that it would feel wrong to joke around during the pride, only to be silent when the LGTB+ community really needed support.”

The partnership is still ongoing and Bruce continues to enjoy creating content that evokes a reaction within people. What does the future hold? That’s a bit of a mystery but probably lots of coffee and many KitKats that feed his creative brain.

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