Friday, October 16, 2009

Water's Promo Uses Power of Positive Drinking

One of the pardners at the ranch here is managing an event in California, and he needed to track down some bottled water for the client. He stumbled across this one, which we Midwesterners found, um...well, I guess the only word we could come up with is "Californian."

H2Om water is billed as "water with intention." Now, my first impulse is "Hey, that's great, but I don't want my water to have any other intention than to hydrate me." H2Om explains further:
H2Om is the world’s first interactive water. While you drink, use the words on the label as the driving force in creating your own intention. Visualize great, extraordinary, vivid, mental creations. For the good of you, for the good of mankind, for the good of the planet. Drink in the thoughts as you absorb the crystal clear vibrationally charged spring water, then resonate the positive energy throughout your day.
They also say that "scientific studies have shown that water is directly effected by the words, sounds and thoughts it is exposed to."

Prepositionally awkward sentence structure aside, that sounds kind of unlikely to me. But I'm not here to bury H2Om (or drink it, for that matter. I avoid bottled water for environmental reasons). My intent is merely to share the interesting marketing strategy, which includes celebrity endorsements (Jim J Bullock drinks it!) and sharing the power of positive drinking. The company also contributes to many eco-friendly causes, which is of course a good thing.

The real appeal may best be summed up by Sandy Fox, H2Om co-founder: "People feel good about purchasing H2Om because they know they are contributing to a cause larger than themselves. That's why I believe we are so popular with Hollywood's celebrity role models."

It appears to be working for the water with intent. Even though there are critics, such as the Gallery of Water-related Pseudoscience ("Emoto-style nonsense creates a water"), this California aqua seems to be selling. Their press describes it as "hot in Hollywood," and their website has plenty of photos of celeb role models (!) posing with plastic (Ed Begley, Jr., shame on you!) bottles of liquid intent. It is also available in some Whole Foods locations.

The Sauce

Good for them on tapping into the celebrity/activist pool to push their product. However, their initial press release announcing the water in 2006 had this one drop of info I find conflicting:

Newly released statistics by Beverage Marketing Corporation show U.S. bottled water sales and consumption continuing to rise as consumers increasingly choose bottled water over other commercial beverages. This upward trend was reflected in 2003 category volume of nearly 6.4 billion gallons, a 7.5 percent increase over 2002, and a 2003 bottled water consumption level of 22.6 gallons-per-capita, compared to 21.2 gallons per capita the previous year. These statistics demonstrate continued consumer demand and appreciation for the convenience and good taste of bottled water brands consumed on-the-go, during exercise, at restaurants or meetings, and at home or the office.

If they are an eco-friendly brand, how do they get around the damage plastic water bottles do to the environment? I know that's not their intent, but it has to be a public relations consideration. They deftly "answer" the question on their website by talking up the non-toxic qualities of the bottle.

Intentionally or not, landfills are not discussed.