Experiential | Sampling

Calling 207: Mainers Helping Mainers


Poland Spring has three water bottling plants in Maine, and they had a PR problem in the state.. Water rights activists protested and sued, claiming that the company was draining resources from the communities and negatively impacting the environment. While activists certainly had a large share of voice, when “regular Mainers” were asked if they considered Poland Spring a good community member, most said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion or did not believe it. In fact, among those surveyed, there wasn’t a single “yes.”
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Inspira Challenge

The Challenge

How do we convince Mainers that Poland Spring is a good corporate citizen?
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EQ We interviewed Mainers and learned they felt Poland Spring was draining their community’s natural resources for a profit. And that they were not doing anything to give back. Mainers were either apathetic about the brand or had an unfavorable opinion of it.
IQ Our custom quantitative research revealed that Mainers considered LL Bean and the regional grocery chain Hannaford as good corporate citizens. The primary reason? They routinely and meaningfully gave back to their communities, and Mainers defined an excellent corporate citizen as one that gives more than it receives. Negative events significantly impact one’s psychological state more than positive events, which are felt more intensely. It’s called the negativity bias.
Inspira Inspiration

The Inspirational Insight

First, we had to understand the negativity bias to overcome it. To do that, we needed to listen to what was essential to Mainers to craft meaningful ways for Poland Spring to demonstrate its commitment to the community on a consistent, ongoing basis.
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The Concept

We conceived the marketing platform Calling 207: Mainers Helping Mainers. This grassroots movement demonstrated that Poland Spring was actively listening to Mainers so that they could become a catalyst for community improvement.

Our mobile Hydration Station Tour sampled Poland Spring Sparkling Water and invited Mainers to submit”207 Acts”, a list of community projects that mattered most to them. Inspira designed and built a website where consumers submitted their project ideas, voted for their favorites, and helped Poland Spring amplify the message across Maine through social media. After the four winning projects were selected, we activated volunteers, rolled up our sleeves, and completed the projects.

Here are the four acts selected:
1. Created ADA Compliant Raised Community Garden Beds in Patten
2 & 3. Beautified two community roadside gardens in Skowhegan
4. Planted 100 trees on Riverbend Farms Ecology School’s campus

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