Ethos Bottle for Pepsi-Cola
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Making a difference with a new designer water bottle
With one out of six people in the world drinking unsafe water, Ethos founders Peter Thum and Jonathan Greenblatt saw an opportunity to help people in Third World countries have greater access to safe water’by tapping into the 16 billion dollar bottled water business in the United States. For every bottle sold, Ethos Water donates $0.05 to humanitarian water programs in developing countries around the world. To date, Ethos has made 6.2 million dollars in grant commitments, which have helped an estimated 420,000 people across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Starbucks (who acquired Ethos in 2005) and Pepsi-Cola (who markets and produces Ethos through the North American Coffee Partnership) came to IDEO to create a compelling bottle design for the emerging brand that could be manufactured to Pepsi’s strict bottling guidelines. In response, IDEO studied the brand, the consumer, and Ethos’ business objectives to develop a bottle that communicates premium design, while maintaining the authenticity of the brand’s mission of providing children and families with access to clean water. Additionally, Ethos asked that the bottle visually tell the story of its mission and objectives, and reflect sustainable considerations in the material, labeling, and adhesive use.
Several bottles were conceptualized and prototyped, with the final design being chosen in tests by consumers who cited its sleek lines, grip-ability and unique form factor. Minimal labeling and adhesive were used to reduce waste and maintain a ‘water-clear’ bottle that looked appealing to the consumer, while satisfying pre-existing labeling manufacturing requirements.
According to Ahad Afridi, VP of Marketing Innovation at Pepsi Cola North America, “I don’t think there’s another agency that could have done this—which is why we specifically went to IDEO—and they truly delivered.”
The Ethos bottle won a 2007 American InHouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA.
Project date: 2007