We picked up the story from Mashable about the DIY iPhone cases made from Evian water bottles that took Japan by storm. Curious about how this viral effect came about, we decided to conduct an investigation.

We started off with the tool, Google Trend, as we were trying to find out what type of global effect it can have. Apparently, the chart does not look unusual.

We narrowed the search context to Japan and the results were quite surprising! There are more searches for the brand Evian, and it is higher than it’s ever been in the last 5 years.

By narrowing down the date range, we managed to get some insights into when the viral effect started to kick in and what people were searching for.

Apparently, Evian 筆箱 (Evian Pencil Case) came up as the top queries. That is quite a strange search query for a French water bottle brand.

Going back to Google, we switched it to Google.co.jp and entered a query for Evian 筆箱. The first result is a video for PATRA Magazine. PATRA magazine is a youtube channel that delivers videos such as makeup tips, pedicure and DIY items. Apparently, the DIY Evian pencil case is one of their products.

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Below is the video from the first result.

And on July 27, 2016, they produced a similar video about DIY iPhone cases with the Evian label. We believe that we have found the seed.

What surprised us is that the number of views was only 73k and the viral effects only started to kick in from September 23rd and later. That is 2 months after the video was published.
youtube-statistic

We believe that there may have been an alternate source and we checked their Instagram feed.

evianのラベルを使って作るiPhoneケースがインスタで話題😘💙今回はさらに可愛くするために、ラメパウダーやスパンコールなどでアレンジしてみました😌🌷 . <準備するもの> ・透明のスマホケース ・evianのラベル ・ラメパウダー 適量 ・ネイル用の飾りやスパンコール等 ・UVレジン液(4g) ・筆 ・容器(紙ざらなどでもOK!) . <作り方> ①ラメパウダーとUVレジン液を混ぜます。 ②よく混ぜたら、筆でスマホケースの外側全体に塗り、太陽光など紫外線に当ててよく乾かします。 ③evianのロゴの周りの余白部分を切ります。 ④ケースが乾いたら、内側にevianのロゴとスパンコールなどの飾りをバランスよくのせます。 ⑤スマホをはめれば完成! . 全て100均で売っている材料で作れるので、みなさん是非自分らしくアレンジしたevianスマホケースに挑戦してみてくださいね♡実際に作ってみた!という人がいたら #patra_mag のハッシュタグで投稿してね🙈✨ . *♡ PATRA magazine ♡* . App Storeでアプリも配信中!アプリなら全ての動画がさくさく見ることができます。 . iPhoneをお使いの方は、App Storeで「PATRA」と検索してDLしてみてくださいね🌹 . #patra_mag #PATRA #ハンドメイド #DIY #DIY動画 #ハンドメイドアクセサリー #iPhoneケース #手作りiPhoneケース #evian #evianiPhoneケース #iPhoneケースDIY #エビアン #100均 #プチプラ #セリア #キャンドゥ #ダイソー #ゆめかわ #LARME #ラルム #おフェロ #ar #スマホケース #美容動画 #レジン #鉱石レジン #レジン部

A video posted by PATRA magazine (@patra_mag) on


This video has only 10k+ views and 10 comments on it. And that is enough to inspire people to generate their own story with the brand.

A photo posted by まき (@makiiikam7) on

A photo posted by Momoka (@momoka1257) on

A photo posted by R i n a (@rina_9.12) on

A few insights from this research:

  1. In order to inspire the audience to generate content, it has to be simple and easy to make. In this case, without watching the video instruction, the Instagrammer could figure it all out.
  2. People share the story behind the brand. Evian is a French water brand and one would never assume that is could be used to make a pencil case or iPhone case.
  3. 3. The biggest insight that we have received is that the people in Japan are searching for Evian more than in the past 5 years. (Google Trend). That is quite commendable since the bottled water market in Japan are dominated by domestic brands like Kirin and Suntory.

On the other hand, it is quite fun to see a different meaning (naive) to the label when one takes a selfie in a mirror.

A photo posted by はなだよ (@8ppy_az) on