Back in 1960, cosmetic surgeon Maxwell Maltz published a self-help book proclaiming that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
But it also widely believed that it takes 21 days to break one.
Green Cola is an independent British brand currently setting new standards in the soft drinks industry by ditching sugar, phosphoric acid, preservatives and artificial sweetener aspartame without compromising on taste. Indeed, even the caffeine in its cola is natural, sourced from green (in other words, unroasted) cocoa beans.
Aspartame, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, is used in more than 6,000 products, including fizzy diet drinks and sugar free confectionery. But scientists are increasingly concerned about potential side effects, including its impact on diabetics.
As Britain moved into lockdown, many people focused on improving their health and fitness. Green Cola seized on the moment to launch its 21 Day Challenge, to help consumers kick their aspartame habit. Green Cola wanted to target 'Health Conscious Pragmatists', a group of about 19 million people that want to make healthier decisions but still enjoy an occasional treat, but specifically mothers.
This group of mothers, which is around five million strong, have the highest propensity to shop on Amazon and choose healthier alternatives for their family.
One Fifty Consultancy was charged with marketing the challenge. It identified ten micro-influencers to launch the Challenge. Each of the ten had more than 5,000 followers, but they also were ‘real people’ who looked, sounded and talked like the audience they were trying to reach.
The influencers received a 21-day survival kit of Green Cola, so that they could still enjoy their treat – cola without aspartame – and reset their habits for good. They shared their journeys on social media, documenting their experiences and generating conversations about the challenge and Green Cola.
The ten also nominated friends to take the challenge, who in turn shared their experiences on social channels. Within five months, the 21 Day Challenge had galvanised 140 micro-influencers into social media action. Together, they generated more than 150 pieces of content – which were all shared by Green Cola on its social media channels – reaching 2.5 million people, or roughly half the target audience, and generating more than 50,000 engagements.
But the campaign has also transformed the attitudes of mums towards aspartame, as Green Cola is now the top selling cola on Amazon – trebling sales within five months. ‘There is a very impressive connection between sales and social activation,’ said the judges.