Water Wars:
How Outsmarting
Beat Outspending
for the Best Year Yet


DS Services
Data-driven acquisition, customized creative

DS Services — parent company of water.com, as well as regional brands like Crystal Springs, Alhambra and Sparkletts national brands like Nursery Water and many more — approached DRUM with a five-gallon problem.

Media investment from DS Services’ main competitor, beverage behemoth Nestlé, positively dwarfed what our client could spend to reach prospects. DS Services was the David to Nestlé’s Goliath. Despite these challenges, the company was set to have its best year in its century-long history, with more than 55% of all web transactions directly attributable to DRUM’s acquisition efforts.


increase in paid web transactions over previous best year


of paid transactions come from social in any given month

DS Heart

Our Approach

We began with a search program that triangulated DMA-dependent competition, then layered on a complex ecosystem of synchronized competitor results and dynamic product array, as well as audience-specific deals and value propositions.

Of course, when it comes to the water wars, messaging matters. In such a cluttered vertical, it was essential for DS Services to present their unique value proposition powerfully and effectively. This meant significant testing to determine what message resonated with each audience. Those findings informed our coordinated landing page experience, which in turn allowed us to convert the highest possible percentage of traffic.

The Results

So, what’s made it work so well? National scale combined with customized creative served dynamically, allowing us to capture the most volume while delivering new customers efficiently. In 2019 alone, our cost-per-transaction in social media beat client expectations by more than 20%, not to mention being even more efficient than paid search. Social now represents one of the largest channels in our media mix, often bringing in upwards of 20% of all paid transactions in a given month, and the interaction between search and social together has created a halo effect across the program that’s proven exponential.

Through our combination of data-driven acquisition efforts, creative exploration and the expansion of targeted audiences, DRUM proved to DS Services that outsmarting beats outspending every time.

Interested in what DRUM can do for you?

Let's Talk

Todd Silverstein

Chief Growth Officer