Hutchison Whampoa

Watsons whets appetites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 12:00am

certificate of merit

Watsons Water

Watsons Water celebrates its 100th anniversary this year with an HKMA/TVB Certificate of Merit for its 'Watsons Water - Wats Next' marketing campaign, highlighting healthy living through a range of redesigned products.

Salina Pao, Watsons Water marketing director, says innovation and a genuine desire to promote a healthy lifestyle among Hong Kong citizens is an integral part of the company's philosophy.

'We have been using innovation to improve our products and services for 100 years,' Ms Pao says.

The company began as a small provider of free medicine to the poor in Guangzhou where it distilled its own water to mix with the medicines, and has grown into Hong Kong's leading provider of bottled water.

'Over the last 100 years the company has developed with Hong Kong people, meeting their needs and expectations by providing them with only the best quality bottled water,' Ms Pao says.

The campaign was developed in-house with the help of outside specialist assistance and took one year to plan.

It was initiated to maintain market leadership and further grow the brand name through ascetic appeal and product awareness - without cutting prices.

It focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle and the need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

'Our aim was to emphasise the importance of water in a humorous way and that drinking Watsons Water is one of the simplest ways of staying healthy,' Ms Pao says.

To celebrate its centenary, the company commissioned 12 leading Hong Kong artists, including Freeman Lau Siu-hong, Kwok Man-ho, Ma Wing-shing and Seeman Ho, to design collectable bottle labels.

The company has also introduced water with minerals and Watsons Water for sport.

Ms Pao says listening to the customer is the key to developing new products and service innovations, which, as market leader, the company is constantly looking to improve.

Feedback from the campaign reinforced the company's status as the most trusted name among consumers of bottled water.

Ms Pao says that, consistent with its pioneering role, Watsons continues to evolve.

The company implemented a revamp programme with its new brand identity - highlighted by a distinctive green colour designed to impart a sense of life, energy and vitality.

She says the new ergonomic bottles have been widely accepted by consumers and have even been praised by competitors who have labelled them the 'bullet design'.

Awards for the design include the Reader's Digest Super Brand Platinum Award; Media Magazine - Asia Advertising Awards Beverage brand in TV Category; Hong Kong Print Awards - Best in the Category of Packaging Material Printing; and The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents of Hong Kong - HK4As three distinctions of silver, bronze and merit for creativity.

Watsons Water was the founding member of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), a trade association which upholds stringent standards to ensure that only safe and clean bottled water is produced and marketed to consumers.