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How a mapping app got Czechs and Slovaks moving again

We're highlighting the winners of the Native Advertising AWARDS 2022. This post features the Best Native Advertising User Activation Campaign.

  • Campaign: Thirst for Exercise
  • Publisher/Agency: Seznam Brand Studio and WMC, Czech Republic
  • Brand: Rajec

Like they were for the rest of the world, the coronavirus lockdowns were difficult for the residents of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Sports facilities and gyms were closed and people lost their motivation to exercise. The situation was affecting everyone’s well-being, physically and mentally. 

The spring water brand Rajec had a mission to change this. For the summer of 2021, it wanted to get people moving again with its campaign “Thirst for Exercise”. 

Seznam Brand Studio decided to open the biggest fitness centre in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. An outdoor, free “centre” that would help people to exercise again and where, through user activation, physical activity would come to be associated with water.

Read our interview with Head of Seznam Brand Studio Andy Sitta

The idea aligned with Raject’s long-term brand communication revolving around nature, cleanliness, tranquillity and protection of the environment. 

It used the Czech map portal to highlight 4,500 suitable places for outdoor exercise. These were all associated with nature and spread across both countries.


It placed QR codes on Rajec bottle labels to link directly to and the nearest local outdoor sports locations. It enlisted three amateur sportspeople to help create an interactive article with useful tips for outdoor sports and instructive videos about each location. The article explained the importance of hydration and linked to a competition where people could log their litres on Rajec’s website.


Distribution was split between online and offline channels although the main communication channel was the map portal, which has around 4 million monthly active users.

Content trailers were distributed on news websites, sports and lifestyle websites in the Czech Republic and the Slovakian news website 

Facebook posts increased the number of views of the articles. Mentions in the articles and QR codes on bottle labels also increased the number of views of the locations on 

However, most of the views of the outdoor gyms on were organic and a result of regular app use. 

Rajec handled some of the promotion, including providing a microsite for the competition, collaborating with influencers, promoting the campaign on their own Facebook and Instagram profiles, and active communication at sports events in both countries.


The Thirst for Exercise exceeded its goals, with the following results:

  • 190,152 unique readers in the Czech Republic (52% more than planned) 
  • 3.5 minutes (average) spent reading the content (17% more than planned) 
  • 120,000 views of the athlete videos 
  • 2,210,261 views of’s information about the 4,500 locations over the summer (twice as much as expected)
  • 101,713 searches and click-throughs within the app – using both the designated search term and the QR codes

During the 6-week competition, people reported a total of 7,000 Rajec bottles, amounting to thousands of sports activities. Quite the thirst for exercise!


Meaningful, people-centric brand communication that takes the behaviours of everyday users into account everyday user behaviours drives results. It is important not to try to change the habitual behaviour of people but rather to leverage what they already like doing. 

Sometimes it’s more effective to use existing tools than create new ones.

The traffic coming from the scanning of the QR code on the bottle labels drove fewer clicks than expected. Solutions for the future could include the provision of more information on the bottle label and more in-store promotions.

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