Short List
Category A01. Food & Drink
Idea Creation BURSON COHN & WOLFE Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production BURSON COHN & WOLFE Stockholm, SWEDEN
Name Company Position
Axel Bringel BCW Creative Strategist
Jonas Eriksson BCW Key Account Manager
Jacqueline Grünthal BCW Account Executive
Kristin Åkerlund BCW Account Executive
Niklas Adamsson BCW Account Executive
Maria Cruseman BCW Photographer & Art director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Because this campaign was 100 percent driven by earned media and created publicity all over the world which raised awareness amongst the public about the water shortage and challenged preconceptions about drinking purified sewage water.


In Sweden, we take our drinking water for granted. We leave our taps running, we shower too long and we flush our toilets with water pure enough to drink, despite the fact that we’re aware that pure water is far from a certainty in many parts of the world. It is essential to save water, but there is also a need for solutions to remedy the lack of water. IVL Swedish Environmental Institute has a water purification technique which transforms sewage water into drinking water as pure as the Swedish tap water. The technique can be used across the globe, but many preconceptions exist towards purified sewage water and few are aware of the technology. IVL Swedish Environmental Institute therefore wanted to: •Raise awareness amongst the public about the water shortage •Show that there are solutions to recycle water, specifically IVL’s technique •Challenge preconceptions about drinking purified sewage water

Describe the creative idea

Create a beer made from purified sewage water. Even though IVL has a unique technique to directly purify sewage water, the assessment that the technique itself was not enough to create interest. Instead of just talking about the water shortage and the solutions at hand an idea of creating a product made from sewage water started to grow. And what was more suitable than brewing a beer with purified sewage water? Initial contact was made with the local brewery “Nya Carnegiebryggeriet” (New Carnegie Brewery) in Stockholm owned by Carlsberg Sweden. They were positive to the idea and the project was also in line with Carlsberg Sweden’s ambitious work with sustainability.

Describe the strategy

A strategy was created a with the following intentions: •Let the beer lead the communication, with the threatening water shortage and IVL’s purification technique adding depth and relevance •Combine IVL’s ambition to remedy the water shortage with Nya Carnegiebryggeriet’s (New Carnegie Brewery) and Carlsberg Sweden’s sustainability focus •Produce the beer locally, but communicate globally where we can use Sweden’s leading position on sustainability matters. That the beer was going to be organic was a “no-brainer”. The name also had to be internationally usable. Instead of taking the easy way by naming the beer jokingly alluding to toilets or sewage, the beer was named PU:REST, a name which both leads thoughts to the pure recycled water and the fact that it is residue. Nevertheless, we were fully aware that the beer most likely would gain nicknames such as poop beer or sewage beer, which would strengthen our PR angle.

Describe the execution

PU:REST premiered on May 25th, at a launch party at Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery). Scientists from IVL who were among the guests spoke about the purification technique and water issues from a global perspective. Prior to the launch extensive communicative actions were conducted. Several medias were contacted and the campaign material was released on social media, where one of the strengths was the access to IVL’s, Carlsberg’s and Nya Carnegiebryggeriet’s own platforms. A short while after the launch party, the visitors at ”Smaka på Stockholm” (an annual, world leading food festival in the centre of the city) were given the opportunity to taste PU:REST. During Miljöfesten, one of the most popular events in the annual “Politician’s Week” in Almedalen, politicians and opinion makers toasted with PU:REST.

List the results

The campaign was 100 % PR driven. Not one single cent was spent on media, neither in traditional nor social media. The results were: Over 500 articles with a total reach of + 470 million and 0 % negative publicity. International media dominated the coverage and the campaign was recognised in over 20 countries, including China, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, India, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, Germany, France and the U.S. A few examples of international medias who reported about PU:REST and IVL’s technique for water purification: Forbes India, Metro UK, Metro USA, Business Insider, RT.COM and Yahoo Japan. IVL, Nya Carnegiebryggeriet and Carlsberg were clearly represented in the articles. Several of Sweden’s largest media outlets reported about PU:REST and furthermore the campaign echoed through social media with a reach of over 100 million. A few examples are: •Forbes India on Twitter with more than 1.15 million followers •Two separate Twitter accounts in Indonesia with 619.000 and 400.000 followers •The Twitter account ”Hungry Forever” with a reach of 1,3 million •Tempo Media with 1,4 million followers on Facebook Through the launch party, Smaka på Stockholm and Miljöfesten in Almedalen, the public, politicians, and opinion makers were given the opportunity to taste PU:REST. And last but definitely not least: Two weeks after the launch, it was sold out (2 400 liers). When the campaign was over, IVL had gotten the opportunity to speak at several national and international events, such as World Water Week in Stockholm and International Water Associations conference in Tokyo.