vitamin waterThese days when I go to my social media platforms, I find myself cringing so much at what brands are sharing. It would appear most marketing teams still believe the best way to go about spending their hefty budgets is by adopting the voice of a “millennial” because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The “millennial.” The very young. Seeing as I am also a millennial at the age of 29 and feel absolutely disconnected from what I see flooding my timeline, I’m going to rephrase that statement by saying brands are looking for seven minutes in heaven with adolescents and college students.

But just when I was ready to deactivate my accounts and have someone send a smoke signal alerting me that brands on social media had finally grown up, vitaminwater reinstalled my Faith in Branded Content chip.

Here are 2 reasons why they are killing it on social media right now.


The best thing about what vitaminwater has been doing? Hooking up with illustrator Josh LaFayette who has provided them with bright and bold graphics. Sometimes all we get is the campaign hashtag and other times we are served with messages such as “Fortune favors the hustle.”

Image Source:

Image Source:

Even though creating original content is not a new concept for brands, many continue to share completely lackluster results especially on social media.

While LaFayette has shared some of the hate he has received, he should realize that what he’s created is mentally over their heads. When I saw his illustrations, they resonated with me for a variety of reasons. The first being that I always enjoy slick, vibrant visuals. Well done, mate. Secondly, I know what it’s like to work in a corporate environment by day only to spend my nights and weekends working on transforming my passion projects into a viable source of income.

I hustle. I get it.

LaFayette’s detractors might be the type of millennial (ie: the young and the restless) consumer vitaminwater was hoping to connect with but the message in his illustration speaks to a person who has ambitions to create. Not the kid who spends all day dumb-thumbing through Instagram selfies and basic Snapchat stories of nothing but them making strange faces into the camera.

Stay strong, LaFayette!! This branded content you’ve created is appreciated!


LaFayette’s illustrations did exactly what any good piece of marketing is meant to do: it influenced the consumer to take action with their brand. After seeing a handful of their #HydrateTheHustle posts, I’ve found myself both noticing vitaminwater more when I’m reaching for a beverage in the bodega refrigerators. On a handful of occasions, I have actually taken up a XXX-flavored water to the register.

With a few smart social media posts, vitaminwater has become more top-of-mind to me as a consumer who, unlike the very young, is more conscious about what products he spends his money on.

I commend you, vitaminwater, for trying something a little fresh and I am curious to see how you continue to produce your branded content moving forward. I’ve got my fingers crossed that you stay on this path because it’s working well for you. The minute you start pumping out poop, I’m going right back to drinking ginger ale.