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A Quirky Flavored-Water Brand Tries to Grow Up

“It was really meant to be a bit of a one-shot,” Mr. Portas said of the Super Bowl commercial. “It wasn’t meant to live beyond that.”

2017 usa commercial Super Bowl Commercial 2017 ft Justin Timberlake & Christopher Walken HD, 128 Video by loft worldwide

Bai executives saw the hashtag #baibaibai spike on Twitter, and internal polls registered an increase in brand awareness, findings other market research confirmed.

“They were one of the bigger winners in the Super Bowl,” said Ted Marzilli, the chief executive of YouGov BrandIndex, which found that Bai’s ranking in two out of three perception categories it measures rose significantly after the commercial aired. “I think they ran a quite quirky ad, and that seemed to resonate or stand out among the clutter.”

The challenge is that the company wants a more mature brand image today, but it doesn’t want to walk away from that kind of exposure.

Bai recently expanded its two-year-old partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, working with Tribeca Studios to develop a series of mini-documentaries about people who performed odds-defying achievements.

The first featured Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga teacher dedicated to “body positivity” — or, as her Facebook page puts it more bluntly, “yoga enthusiast and fat femme” — who encourages people of all shapes and sizes to practice yoga. Another video profiled Burnell Colton, an entrepreneur who poured his life savings into opening a grocery store in the food desert of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina.

The Unbelievers | Burnell Cotlon of New Orleans | A Short Film Series Video by Bai Antioxidant Infusions

The series is hosted on Bai’s website as well as being pushed out via the brand’s social channels and a YouTube channel, where it is accompanied by related content about the brand and its history, including what Mr. Portas called a “manifesto” by Mr. Timberlake.


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