IQ News: Cythere Adds Gen Y to Evian Mix in Online Effort

Evian, the French bottled-water brand, has again tapped New York-based interactive shop Cythere to infuse the L’original section of its 2-year-old consumer Web site with a new Gen Y focus on music, extreme sports and entertainment.
“We wanted to add more depth and interactivity to,” explained Michael Neuwirth, corporate communications director for Great Brands of Europe, Evian’s importer and marketer. “And we wanted to do that in a targeted way that’s more appropriate and more tailored to a young user.”
To do that, Cythere, which created the original brand site, has added more Gen Y-targeted content to the site, which will relaunch this week.
“One of our challenges was that their tag is ‘L’orginal,’ ” said Cythere account director Cynthia Damon. “Our whole question was, how do we integrate with the lifestyle, but in an original way? What we came up with is that the way to be original is to be unexpected. We tried to make their originality be proprietary. So whereas it’s a music section, it only focuses on one specific musician.”
The first “Evian Originals” is Datach’i, a New York-based electronic music artist. Likewise, an extreme sports page will focus on only one skateboarding personality every six months, while features on exclusive partnerships between Evian and various media properties will be added on an ongoing basis. Cythere, the New York office of Paris-based Cythere Interactive, will also add QuickTime films and interviews to the site as well, Damon said.
“We thought not just about Gen Y interests,” she said, “but how Evian could be integrated into the lifestyle of these Gen Yers–not just to sell the water, but really to be integrated into what they like and what they do, so it just becomes part of their world.”
If Evian has its way, that world will include Evian- and L’original-branded merchandise sold online, such as T-shirts, tote bags and pink rubber duckies, and a game area where users can also download wallpaper and screen savers.
Damon would not divulge how much Evian expects to spend on L’orginal, but said that the French company plans to promote it through both banner ads and sponsorships on other, as yet unchosen, sites. “Previously, they hadn’t done very much online advertising for the site,” she said, and offline advertising only consisted of including the site’s URL on two advertisements.
Going forward, said Neuwirth, L’orginal’s job will be to accelerate traffic, add to the consumer database and build e-commerce transactions.