Drink Up Leverages Largest Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Campaign Ever

Nielsen and PVBLIC Foundation provide cutting edge strategy, tactics and research to support the Drink Up effort with more than 700 million impressions across more than 200 markets

WASHINGTON, DC (March 25, 2014) - Drink Up, an initiative of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) that encourages people to drink more water more often, today released new data that demonstrates the power that digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising and cutting edge research can have on consumer behavior.

In collaboration with Nielsen and PVBLIC Foundation, during the fourth quarter of 2013 Drink Up sought to reach hundreds of millions of people through out-of-home screens and to measure the impact that reach had on people’s propensity to drink more water. To make this possible, PVBLIC Foundation had to push the message out through multiple networks and Nielsen conducted innovative research to measure impact.

Initial results include:

  • When asked if you agreed with the message “you are what you drink,” consumer response increased 11 percent after being exposed to the Drink Up advertisements.
  • Agreement with the statement, When choosing a beverage, water is the single best choice you can make,” increased 22 percent, from 68 percent to 83 percent upon seeing the Drink Up ads.
  • Across all networks, nearly one in four respondents recalled seeing the advertising at the locations they visited.

“This collaboration – like Drink Up itself – demonstrates the tremendous value that results from bringing the private sector together to help move the needle on such an important issue,” said PHA Chief Marketing Officer Drew Nannis. “Though we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what Drink Up and its supporters are capable of, we wouldn’t be where we are without the incredible support of strategic collaborators like Nielsen and PVBLIC Foundation.”

Key Findings & Results

Using a unique geo-fencing methodology, Nielsen measured the impact of Drink Up’s existing public service announcements (PSAs) across venues with access to TV screens on a closed network. These venues included health clubs, elevators, bars, doctor’s offices, gas stations, digital billboards, check-cashing facilities, nail salons, shopping malls and taxicabs. The PSAs appeared in more than 200 markets and included both English and Spanish language creative elements. Mobile surveys were then presented to respondents who entered specific geo-fenced areas, built using latitude and longitude coordinates around venues that offered place-based advertisements, as well as to a control group. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a set of statements using a 5-point scale. These statements were geared to the message points of the campaign.

“The DOOH measurement study proved essential to understanding elements of the message that resonated well with audiences, which will inform future optimization of the campaign’s message, creative and media tactics,” said Karen Watson, managing director, Nielsen Government and Public Sector.

Impressions/Channels/Multiple Networks

PVBLIC Foundation aggregated more than 700 million media impressions nationwide for the Drink Up campaign. As part of this important effort, PVBLIC approached the DOOH industry, managed the media campaign, consulted on the creative assets and provided thoughtful insight to Nielsen on the specific media components. Overall, the campaign included 33,148 screens in 14,903 venues in more than 200 markets across the country.

“PVBLIC Foundation is proud to equip organizations like PHA with the tools they need to convey their messages through the power of media,” said Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, chairman and co-founder of PVBLIC Foundation. “This campaign is the largest and most complex multi-network DOOH campaign ever in-market. We applaud PHA for all they are doing to push their effort forward and we truly value the meaningful public-private sector collaboration we have with them.”

Industry participants that worked with PVBLIC Foundation include AdSpace (Malls), Verifone (taxi-cabs and gas stations), Zoom Media (bars and health clubs), Lamar Outdoor (digital billboards), Captivate Media (office building elevator screens), iCheckTV (check cashing facilities) and Gloss Media (nail salons).

The Drink Up initiative, announced on September 12, 2013 by PHA and its honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama, brings together more than 40 supporters from the private and public sectors, all committed to encouraging people to drink more water more often. This effort focuses on a very simple, positive message: you are what you drink, and when you drink water, you drink up.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

PVBLIC Foundation is an in-kind grant making organization that harnesses the power of unused media assets to drive social change. An aggregator of media across all platforms, PVBLIC works strategically to pair millions of dollars worth of donated media space with key non-profits to increase awareness around important causes and fuel campaigns with a measurable social impact.  

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