Drink Up!

Idris ElbaYou may know him as the Hollywood hunk who hails from Britain and has appeared in such films as TV projects as “The Wire,” Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, and Thor. But now millions will get to know Idris Elba as the new face of Smartwater. Actress Jennifer Aniston is, perhaps, the celebrity face most connected to Smartwater. ??

The actor has just become the latest celebrity spokesperson for the?Smartwater water brand, which is?owned by Coca-Cola. Elba will now be featured in a print ad campaign scheduled to run in upcoming issues of GQ, Essence and Men’s Journal magazines.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Idris, as it aligns with The Coca-Cola Company?s goal of winning among America?s growing population of multicultural consumers. As an African-American style and substance icon, Idris embodies Smartwater?s brand values and allows us to truly engage African-American consumers with the brand in a meaningful way,” says Tavia Pitts, senior brand manager, African- American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America.?

Smartwater is sold under the Energy Brands, also doing business as Glac?au, umbrella. Energy Brands is a privately owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola Company based in Whitestone, New York City. Smartwater is one of the company?s various lines of enhanced water. The company was started in 1996 by J. Darius Bikoff with an electrolyte enhanced line of water called Smartwater. Energy Brands also distributes Fruitwater and VitaminWater. Today, the Glac?au line of waters are the top selling enhanced water brand in the United States. The company?s first product was Glac?au Smartwater, vapor-distilled water with added electrolytes. Then in 1998 came Glaceau Fruitwater, which added fruit flavors to the core Smartwater. Vitaminwater debuted in 2000 and it added vitamins and natural flavors to Smartwater.?

Rap artist 50 Cent had obtained a 10% share of the company as part of an endorsement deal, and he raked in millions when, in 2007, Coca-Cola Company purchased the company.??

Now with Elba, Smatwater hopes to increase its appeal to the black consumer market. The company has a major ad campaign in stores. Says Pitts, “New Smartwater ads and digital activation featuring Idris will begin appearing in the coming weeks, as well as out-of-home and point-of-sale in key markets. Print ads will run in magazines like Essence, People, and Men?s Journal.”