Giorgio Armani and L’Oréal have once again activated their Acqua for Life initiative, which aims to stimulate greater awareness about water safety and scarcity. It is the campaign’s third year. Armani’s Acqua di Giò for men and Acqua di Gioia for women fragrances will be the vehicles for the Acqua for Life campaign.

“The Acqua for Life campaign started on 1 March and will finish on 31 May,” Giorgio Armani and Designer Fragrances Division Manager Travel Retail Europe, Middle East and Africa Stefan Dembinski told The Moodie Report. “During this period of time every Acqua di Giò or Acqua di Gioia product sold will [generate] a 100 litre donation of clean water. [In travel retail] this year’s in-store animations will start on 1 March and finish on 31 April.”

Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life fragrance duo

As in previous years, the travel retail channel has been earmarked to play a key role within the Acqua for Life initiative. In 2012, sales from travel retail doors generated 5.7 million litres of water – around 11% of the global total.

Within the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Armani is continuing its partnership with the Gebr Heinemann Group, for the third consecutive year. Heinemann will be the exclusive retailer to feature Acqua for Life throughout its stores, supporting the initiative with strong visibility including podiums in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stuttgart Airports, and impulse tables and gondolas in Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Bergen, Stavanger, Salzburg and Budapest.

“Gebr Heinemann has provided us with great support and visibility,” acknowledged Dembinski. “And the amount of animations we have this year, and the high level of execution and impact [reassure] us that Heinemann is the best partner for the Acqua for Life project. Our objective in 2013 is to generate more than two million litres of safe drinking water.”

To date, the Acqua for Life campaign has supported two countries facing critical challenges regarding water and sanitation: Ghana and Bolivia. The Acqua for Life challenge generated 52 million litres of drinking water in 2012, following on from 43 million litres in 2011, making a total of 95 million litres. In 2013, Armani will renew its partnership with Green Cross International (GCI) in Ghana and Bolivia, and also join forces with Unicef in the US.

Furthermore, Giorgio Armani has partnered with actor Sean Pean, CEO of J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), which strives to improve water conditions in Haiti. This month the Acqua for Life Campaign is donating a US$500,000 grant to benefit the Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) activities overseen by J/P HRO in the urban environment of Delmas 32, a neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. Additional funds will be raised for J/P HRO at a special event during the Paris Photo exhibition in Los Angeles, due to take place in April.

“Sean is a man cut from a rare cloth – his extraordinary talent, first as an actor, then as a director, and now as a life changer has captivated me,” noted the designer. “It is an honour to take part in the important humanitarian activities in which he is involved. His work is perfectly in line with the Acqua for Life programme, so joining forces was a natural step. Our great understanding and mutual respect have made this collaboration a truly gratifying experience.”


Gebr Heinemann is putting considerable retail muscle behind the Acqua for Life 2013 campaign, as befits its status as dedicated travel retail partner.

“The activity will be promoted in many different Heinemann Retail and distribution doors during March and April, and in our Distribution division,” the company confirmed.

“Promoters will be dressed in Acqua for Life shirts, to boost attention and fully ‘live’ the concept. And Heinemann Duty Free is telling the story of Acqua for Life in the Heinemann & Me (our own customer loyalty programme) Newsletter in March and on the Heinemann Duty Free Facebook page to support the activity.”

The retailer acknowledged the vast scope of the social media campaign elements. “There will be QR Codes on the packaging of the Acqua di Giò & Acqua di Gioia fragrances, linked to the Acqua for Life Facebook Page, and one ‘Like’ = 50 litres of donated water,” the company explained. “All in all there will be a huge social media set-up. And customers will be regularly informed on the Acqua for Life Facebook Page about the development of the donation activity.”

So what prompted Gebr Heinemann to lend its support, once again, to this campaign? “Our major target is to present our customers with promotional projects that live up to the standards of our core values: individuality, being surprising and service oriented,” the company noted.

We were first offered the opportunity to support this activity in 2012, and as it was so successful in [our] network, we were offered it again in 2013. It offers our customers a great and attention-grabbing fragrance promotion, and the good feeling that comes of helping people in need.”

“Giorgio Armani has been an incredibly generous partner to J/P HRO through the years, with steadfast support that has helped our organisation continue its crucial efforts in Haiti,” commented Penn. “With Acqua for Life’s campaign extending its reach in Haiti, J/P HRO will work to improve water supply and management which has a direct impact on accessibility, health and sustainability.”

“Mr Armani has a long-term interest in human and environmental issues linked to water,” noted Dembinski. “Many countries are affected by the water crisis. In 2011, the Giorgio Armani Group committed to its partnership with Green Cross International to build water systems that could provide at least 40 million litres of safe drinking water every year. This amount has reached 27,000 people in 16 communities, including 3,500 children, in the Eastern and Volta regions of Ghana, where about 40% of the rural population still lacks access to safe water.

“The extension of the Armani partnership in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, and where 33% of the rural population has no secured access to a safe drinking water source, has focused on supporting small and isolated communities living in the Cordillera province of Santa Cruz, the upper Izozog located in the Charagua Municipality. In 2013, it is the lower Izozog that is targeted, as it is even further from the town.”

Dembinski added: “The whole area of the Cordillera Province of Santa Cruz suffers from a dry period that can last up to eight months each year. Bolivian women and children usually collect water from public reservoirs, but in the Cordillera Province, there are no such reservoirs within 50 kilometres. Acqua for Life will also continue in Ghana and focus on the shanty town of Kumasi, one of the biggest cities of the country.”

Spreading the word
This year’s Acqua for Life campaign is characterised by a distinct, colourful identity. “Armani”¦has created a specific pantone colour, called Acqua for Life blue,” confirmed Dembinski. “It has been used on the sleeves developed for the occasion and also on the POS material, creating eye-catching animations.”

Importantly, Acqua for Life 2013 also incorporates a number of digital elements. For example, Gebr Heinemann will give extra visibility and share information about Acqua for Life on its Facebook page The campaign will also be promoted via Heinemann’s client newsletter.

“The Heinemann Facebook page is linked to the Acqua for Life international facebook page (, which features regular posts about the project and the different concrete actions undertaken by Green Cross International,” Dembinski explained.

Gebr Heinemann’s support for Acqua for Life, at Copenhagen and Frankfurt Airports

The Acqua for Life digital platform also includes an “online challenge”, whereby participants are invited to support and collect extra litres of water on social networks. For example, becoming a fan of the Acqua For Life Facebook page will automatically generate 50 litres of water to the Smart Water for Green Schools project.

Dembinski believes that such Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity is no longer an optional extra. “CSR is important for all luxury brands,” he underlined. “Nowadays, consumers are no longer only looking for luxury products with very qualitative components or design; they also want to be part of a more responsible way of consumption.

“The Acqua for Life project is about stimulating greater public awareness about environmental and developmental problems, by supporting eco-friendly projects by Green Cross International, promoting access to safe water for children, and their communities, in poor countries.”

Social media, including Facebook, will play a key role in the 2013 campaign

He added: “The challenge is inspired, and linked, to the exclusive fragrances Acqua di Giò for men and Acqua di Gioia for women, which are both associated with water, and closely connected to the concept of nature’s bounty, freshness and environmental harmony. Consumers understand very well the aim of this project as the brand is “legitimate” within this area.”

Note: Green Cross International is a leading independent non-profit and non-governmental organisation created in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev to respond to the combined challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation to ensure a sustainable and secure future. J/P Haitian Relief Organization is dedicated to saving lives and bringing sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively. The organisation works with both government and non-governmental agencies to deliver immediate results where the need is greatest.