Super Bowl LI Exclusive: John Legend Talks LIFEWTR and the Importance of Creativity

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Super Bowl LI Exclusive: John Legend Talks LIFEWTR and the Importance of Creativity

If you’re at all familiar with John Legend, you know that in addition to being a thoughtful, multi-award winning family man, he, along with wife Chrissy Teigen, are outspoken about their political views. Along with being vocal on social issues affecting our generation, he exemplifies the actions-speak-louder-than-words mentality.

The latest milestone on Legend’s resume? His first ever Super Bowl ad. LIFEWTR’s first Super Bowl ad, directed by two-time Academy Award winner Robert Stromberg, features Legend’s new single, “Love Me Now,” produced and tailored to reflect the advertisement’s artistic direction and to bring its imagery to life. “LIFEWTR collaborated with John Legend, as he embodies the brand’s core values of creativity and inspiration, which are also prominent themes in the ad,” explained PepsiCo’s Water Portfolio Senior Brand Manager, Nadine Katkhouda.

On Friday Feb. 3, Legend celebrated the launch of LIFEWTR, a new premium bottled water from PepsiCo, at LIFEWTR Art After Dark at Club Nomadic in Houston, Texas.


Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for LIFEWTR

LIFEWTR Art After Dark Super Bowl LI event was headlined by the hyper-talented Bruno Mars with a special performance by DJ Khaled, and featured a speakeasy lounge in honor of 1893 from the makers of PepsiCola. At the packed, multi-level club were a slew of NFL greats that included Steve Young, as well as high-profile guests such as Erin Andrews and Mark Cuban.

Paste had the opportunity to chat with Legend on the red carpet before Bruno Mars took the stage. “I’m excited, what a great party, there’s going to be a great performance—it’s going to be a lot of fun,” began Legend. “I just made a song that they [LIFEWTR] loved, we felt like it really fit with the idea behind the new brand LIFEWTR. It’s all about inspiration, seizing the moment, and enjoying life,” in response to his thoughts on the LIFEWTR collaboration. “I love the brand. I love that it’s about celebrating art and inspiration. I drink a lot of water too, as a singer. I need to stay hydrated!”

Though Teigen literally ran past Legend and the line-up of reporters calling her name, opting to head straight to the party (which is completely understandable), Legend graciously stuck around to answer a few more questions. Never one to be shy about using his celebrity status as a platform for good, Legend expressed that celebrating creativity and art in today’s society is “critical. I think that art is always important.” Especially given the political climate, he continued “It’s important as a voice for the creative people and a way of speaking truth. Artists have that power and the responsibility to speak that truth.”

With the ad “Inspiration Drops,” LIFEWTR hopes to inspire consumers of all backgrounds. In the ad, a city is transformed by a storm that turns everything the rain touches into the bright, colorful art of the brand’s Series 1 label artists.

If you’re thinking to yourself that “premium bottled water” has been done before, the answer is yes. Yes, it has. The brand aims to differentiate itself through its ingredients, and by marketing LIFEWTR as a proponent of originality and innovation. The bottled water’s label will feature rotating label motifs created by emerging artists. This first set of label designs showcases the work of three artists: Jason Woodside, MOMO, and Craig & Karl.


The Series 1 artists are (bottles L-R): MOMO; Craig & Karl; Jason Woodside. Photo credit: LIFEWTR

“LIFEWTR is offering a publishing platform and patronage to artists, through their new product design. And they’ve stayed true to this mission while I’ve worked with them, developing the first series,” said MOMO. “I like to partner with brands that are aligned with my own values—who represent innovation, positivity and purpose,” said Jason Woodside.

“Our artwork for LIFEWTR is about looking to the future and striving to find a positive perspective for what lies ahead,” expanded Craig & Karl on the collaboration’s impact. “The foundation of the brand is to provide a platform for artists and creative expression, and it offers us an ideal opportunity to present our work in a far-reaching way that engages people in their everyday lives, hopefully, in turn inspiring them to look at the world a little differently.”