Bottled Water Brand Heads For the Blue Ocean

Familiar with “Blue Ocean” marketing strategy?” That’s when a business tries to hit the growth and profit jackpot by finding or creating an uncontested market space—in effect, wide-open “Blue Ocean”—rather than getting beat up and bloodied trying to succeed in crowded market segments with a lot of competition for customers’ money and attention.

I think the marketers behind Activate brand must have read the book! (The product is from Rising Beverage Company in, no surprise, Los Angeles, CA.)

With countless brands fighting it out it with variations on the “enhanced” formula, Activate actually brags that they’ve taken all that junk OUT. Who NEEDS nutrients that “deteriorate sitting in water.” GONE. Minerals? OUT. Let the others ionize their brands. Activate DE-ionizes. You’ll love it, cool consumers, because you’re not like everyone else, I know. You’re different. You’re PURE. You don’t follow the crowd. You follow the hip people, leisurely paddling around their exclusive blue ocean space by themselves. (It doesn’t float with me!)

Telepene Water: Gush, Gush, Fizz, Fizz

I hope the gas comes after the gush! From quisnovus on Flickr comes this photo of Telepene, the official water of the Albanian national football team. (Americans: surely you understand by now they mean soccer!)

Suffled how it gush from the woods of Tepelene

You might be surprised to hear that Albania has a football team. Perhaps you’re confusing Albania with the Dilbert outpost of Elbonia. Albania is a tiny Eastern European nation with a rich, conflict-riddled history reaching back to ancient Greece and Rome. Most recently it is an independent free market democracy since communism fell in 1991.

Moral Mayhem at Vancouver’s Mini-Bars!

Besides the Coca Cola/Dasani concession, where’s the least-likely place we’d expect to find tap water promoted during the Vancouver Olympic frenzy? Hotel mini-bars, you say?

Photo via A stainless steel refillable water bottle is featured prominently in mini-bars in Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel to help promote the city's tap water.

Photo via A stainless steel refillable water bottle is featured prominently in mini-bars in Vancouver

Well, surprise! During the winter games, Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim offers something new in guests’ mini bars that’s almost as shocking as the prices – a (not complimentary) metal water bottle for unlimited, free tap refills. The hotel was one of the first to join Vancouver’s campaign to encourage Olympics visitors to use the city’s tap water.

The bottle’s $12.95 price tag surely means the predatory mini-bar sales model is still safe. Also, we assume that tiny paper-topped glasses are still available in guest bathrooms and bedrooms. From CBC News via,

“Bottled water is a major seller in our guest rooms through the mini-bars,” said hotel manager Randy Zupanski. “I was concerned about the fall-off of those sales … but it’s the right thing to do.”

Tap Water, Now Competing in Vancouver

Water utilities and municipalities are finally getting hip to the promotional opportunity that big events can present. From little local festivals to the Olympics, events are a perfect place for tap water proponents to strut their stuff. Vancouver is getting in the game despite overwhelming competition from heavily-favored Coca Cola/Dasani, who has paid handsomely for their Olympic sponsorship slot.

During the Olympic Games, The City of Metro Vancouver and the Province of Ontario set up a “water wagon” downtown to offer local tap water straight from the Seymour Reservoir.

Thanks to Sweet One on Flickr, who snapped this shot on his iPhone, we can have a peek! He and others, though, pointed out that while the water was clear the benefactor was not!

Apparently the Province of Ontario is serving Metro Vancouver tap water… to promote Ontario tap water? I’m confused.

Maybe it’s because we’re all so unaccustomed to cooperation when water is involved!

Anyhow, Metro Vancouver has been running a tap water campaign since 2008; one of the the stated goals was to reduce bottled water use 20% by 2010. (Wait, that’s NOW!) With a sluggish economy, all the cheapies and frugalistas gotta love the price–13 liters for just a penny.

Bottled Water, We Really Do Love Ya

Regular visitors here know that we often get our jollies by ridiculing bottled water. Our barbs, though, are directed at those who regularly use the product though they have easy access to clean, plentiful tap water… you know the type, the clueless, wasteful track-suited, cell-talking types we see loading up on cases of the stuff at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

The truth is I am actually thankful for bottled water. In times of emergency or in thousands of poor and polluted areas of the world, I am grateful that people sometimes have this option, because people are more important than plastic. The speed at which bottled water can be mobilized and transported to a disaster zone eases suffering and saves lives.

Via Simminch on Flickr:

Haitian citizens receive water from air crewmen from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage near Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron Shelley/Released)

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division stack supplies Jan. 16 that will be delivered to the forward operating bases within the city of Port-au-Prince. No room was spared in the aircraft as they packed them with troops and supplies.

Read more about water challenges in the hardest-hit areas of Haiti (including some first-person accounts) at See this post on for information on water-focused relief organizations.

Vittel: It Must Be the Water. And the Budget.

Vittel is a brand of bottled mineral water from the northeastern French spa town of the same name. Sounds quaint, but the brand has since 1992 been owned by the not-so-quaint ginormous multinational Nestlé.

That helps to explain why ginormous multinational ad agency Ogilvy and Mather France has produced  these well-crafted, quirky, faux-quaint spots as part of a new ad campaign for Vittel, “It Must Be the Water.” And they’re big, really big.

Best of 2009: Bottled Water for Pervs

Our favorite global water brand discovered in 2009! I dare you to refresh yourself with this bottle!

We’re taking it easy the last week of the year with reposts of some of our 2009 faves! In case you missed it: the bottle that proved “the best” is always a fleeting label.

—REPOSTED, Original Link Here
The amazing Yellow Surprise motivated me to begin this blog and I believed that it (along with ASS) would reign supreme in funny-water brand-land forever. Never say never. Yellow Surprise and ASS, meet the challenger, Golden Stream.

Eternal thanks to bikespod on Flickr for sharing this memory of his trip to Varkala, a coastal town on the Southern tip of India.

Designer Water is SO Last Year

In 2008 and 2009, Evian partnered with influential international fashion designers Christian Lacroix (2008) and Jean Paul Gaultier (2009) to create limited edition “Prêt-à-Porter” water bottles. (For you non-fashionista types, “Prêt-à-Porter” refers to the mass market version, not the highest-qualtiy, rich-person couture stuff.) Both the Gaultier Version and the Lacroix Bottle are available right now at for $13.95 each.

But fashion is a fickle business, no? That’s why smart shoppers like myself have recently spotted the la-dee-dah bottles at Big Lots and Homegoods (both of which are closeout/discount retailers.)

I’ll be honest: with the talents of two of the world’s most acclaimed designers behind them, these bottles are certainly beautiful. (Gaultier’s frosted ice design is particularly awesome.) I’m going to delight in my 89% discount on designer goods and refill and reuse the sturdy glass bottles over the holidays, paired with some festive bottle stoppers.

But…how shall I maintain my all-tap, all-the-time boycott against bottled water? I’ll be serving these bottles’ original contents to Dixie, the family Labrador. Chacun ses goûts!