SHANGHAI: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, has announced the launch of a socially responsible bottled-water brand in China with the aim of targeting millennials and bringing clean drinking water to schoolchildren in rural areas.

Its Ice Dew Chun Yue brand, which means "Pure Joy", seeks to address concerns in China about water contamination and it focuses on Chinese millennials because they're vocal about societal issues, Advertising Age reported.

Coming with the strapline "Drink Good, Do Good, Feel Good", it is hoped sales will support charitable initiatives from the One Foundation, which campaigns for water sustainability among other issues.

However, Coke is not getting involved purely for altruistic reasons, as Pratik Thakar, head of Asia-Pacific creative and content excellence at Coca-Cola, explained to Campaign-Asia.

"This is not just a CSR [corporate social responsibility] project, but a real brand for Coca-Cola," he said, while noting that the initiative is significant for the entire company and is very likely to be extended to other markets.

He said Chinese millennials aged 20 to 35 will be targeted because they're more interested in societal and environmental issues than older generations and they frequently use social media to air their views.

"They like to think and discuss, they are very active in social media like Weibo and WeChat about social issues, however they are not very proactive in doing things that tackle those issues," Thakar stated.

Coke wants to link the brand to that generation's interest in social activism, which will mean "the marketing communications becomes a social movement," he explained.

He said: "If you buy and drink Ice Dew Chun Yue water, you are bringing clean water to people and kids in remote villages in China … if you buy a bottle of water, we are doing something on your behalf. It fits the behaviour of the Chinese millennials."

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff