For No Debris, Choose DMZ

Entrepreneurship springs eternal when it comes to bottled water, so we’re only slightly surprised that it is now springing from the Korean Demilitarized Zone. That’s right, DMZ water, extracted from that narrow strip that is one of the most heavily guarded plots of land in the world. From the Guardian UK,

South Korea's newest water is bottled near the Demilitarised Zone buffer that has divided the Korean peninsula since 1953. Photograph: LEE JAE-WON/REUTERS via The Guardian UK

South Korea's newest water is bottled near the Demilitarised Zone buffer that has divided the Korean peninsula since 1953. Photograph: LEE JAE-WON/REUTERS

For more than half a century the Demilitarised Zone, the buffer between North and South Korea, has only yielded crops of razor-wire fences, landmines, watchtowers, and squadrons of heavily armed soldiers – until three months ago when the Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co began selling DMZ 2km water, from a spring that flows under the strip. The bottling plant is safely just within South Korean territory but the origin of the water is clear: along with the outline of a bird, the label boasts the legend DMZ. Lee Sang-hyo, a spokesman for the company, explained: “We decided on water from the DMZ because it’s different and the environment there is untouched, so many people think it’s clean.” “Getting the water is not dangerous at all. We worked it all out with the military,” Lee said.

The news tempts us to brainstorm some possible marketing slogans for the DMZ brand (before Watercrunch beats us to the punch!)

  • Water we can agree on.
  • Always True to the Truce
  • Strategically Balanced.
  • Certified Safe, Step by Step
  • Walk the line.
  • All Clear.
  • Continuously Checked and Buffered.
  • Break out of your Borders!
  • Guarded production, safety assured.
  • Exclusive Barb-guard Processing
  • The Conflicted Agree: Choose DMZ

Ducks Cheerleader Should Have Ducked

Will this water-bottle violence never end? (Our rule: Three observances equals a certified trend! Here’s the first and the second!)

In the latest installment of water bottle as weapon, irate University of Arizona football fans hurled polyethylene projectiles onto the field in a November 21st post-game bottle-throwing incident that sent an Oregon cheerleader to to the hospital.

Next time, remember, D-E-F-E-N-S-E after the game, too! The normally-cheerful gal lost consciousness after being struck by a full water bottle and was treated and released from the University Medical Center in Tucson.

Oregon senior associate athletic director Joe Giansante commented,

“As the team was coming in, they were getting bombarded with water bottles, batteries, and various other items coming out of the stands,” Giansante said. “We were yelling at everybody to keep their heads up, but one got through and hit Katelynn in the head. All the kids (on the cheerleading team) are scared, but hopefully she’ll be OK.”

Is There Tap Water in a Time Warp?

Travelers must get desperately thirsty zipping through the space-time continuum, and one shouldn’t trust the quality of the tap water in a time warp, I’d think. (The “Doctor” character in the famous British TV series Dr. Who has the power to regenerate his body when near death… I guess that means both he AND his licensed single-use container are recyclable!)

Photo: Approved by Dr. Who water by St. A on Flickr

Mysterious Fruits of Water: Lychee Fruit

Installment #4! The world’s most esoteric fruits are helping marketers de-commoditize bottled water with mysterious, value-added flavorings.

I shelled out $2.50 just so I could share this Borba Water with Lychee Fruit with you! The lychee (aka laichi or lichuare) is a fruit tree native to Southern China and is now cultivated throughout parts of Southeast Asia, reaching Hawaii in 1873, Florida in 1883, and California in 1897.

Lychees require seasonal temperature variations with warm, humid summers and cool, dry winters for best for flowering and fruit development. Young lychees can be killed by a light frost, but mature trees have survived temperatures as low as 25° F when fully hardened off. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., there are trees in San Diego, California that are over 90 years old with no sign of decline in sight.

And this fruit has some sexy roots! An early Chinese historical reference to lychees was made in the Tang Dynasty, when it was reportedly the favorite fruit of an emperor’s number-one concubine. Since lychees were only grown in southern China, the emperor had the fruit delivered by the imperial messenger service’s fast horses, whose riders would take shifts day and night, like the Pony Express, to get the just-picked lychees to the capital.

Another interesting story: the “Hanging Green” cultivar is the most famous and rare lychee in existence. For centuries, Hanging Green was an item of tribute to the imperial government of various dynasties until people in Canton revolted during the Qianlong era against the tributes and chopped all but one of the Hanging Green trees. The sole remaining tree still produces fruit each year, and fruits from that tree are now called “Zhengcheng Hanging Green.”

That’s fascinating, but I’m too distracted by Borba’s label to think about lychees, particularly THIS gem:

Can you IMAGINE that?! Right on the other side of my skin lies a supermodel, needing only BORBA water to get out! Suddenly, $2.50 seems wildly reasonable! WHY didn’t someone tell me about this years ago, so that gorgeous me could revel in intoxicating global attention? Thankfully, they’ve included directions but I’m a bit confused…do I have to do the Twist, or would other cool moves be acceptable? Do I sip WHILE dancing, or afterward? When will “Inner Babe” bust out? Is it immediate, kinda like kryptonite? Let me know…

If I Could Place Ads on a Bottle

With demand dropping and prices with it, the bottled water industry needs new business models, and UK-based Soak Media is promoting one tried-and-true idea. Borrowing a page from ad-supported free media, Soak is passing out free ad-laden bottled water to Londoners this summer.

Soak Media friendly staffer

Soak Media friendly staffer

Billing itself as “the refreshing way to talk to Londoners”, the site urges advertisers to…

Get hot and bothered London commuters to engage with your brand by advertising on one of the deliciously cold bottles of mineral water we’ll be handing out across the London commuter network this summer. And don’t forget: this summer’s going to be an absolute scorcher!

Soak Media’s video details their right-time, right-place strategy during “London’s hottest months of July and August.” The company will also do “leaflet tip-ons and bottles moulded to any shape.” And don’t forget, the water is “handed out by our very friendly staff” and enjoys “50 minutes in-hand time.” (And an eternity in a landfill after that?)

Oddly the video ends with the cryptic and vague statement, “all our profits go to charitable causes.” Guess I’ll let that one soak in for a moment.

Unpolluted Krapjanka, New Slim Bottle

Original photo, NOT retouched or altered!

Today, some marginal ThirstyinSuburbia PR for “Blaifa,” a Macedonian entrepreneur well outside of slick Western marketing networks, the force behind an apparently small business with big dreams of riches to be made in the packaged water business.

Blaifa has listed his bottled water brand KRAPJANKA on tradeboss.com, described as “the worldwide B2B marketplace,” and an “Import/Export Business Directory.”

It is possible that, technically, Krapjanka isn’t yet in actual production. That’s OK, though—they have mocked up a conceptual bottle to give prospective customers an idea of what the real deal will look like should discussion and negotiation develop into a deal! (Apparently this brand sports a new, slimmer bottle design. Or more likely, someone was a bit careless with the photoediting scale tool!)

No matter, as the product description clearly states, it comes from an unpolluted region, and it is excellent!

Excellent natural mineral water from the mountain spring in unpolluted region in R.Macedonia, South Europe. Packaging in plastic bottles (0.5 L, 1.5 L and 5 L). Our water is with top – quality and very well balance physicochemical composition. For more information and direct orders, please contact us at …

Krapjanka brand bottled water on tradeboss.com

Still Unaware of Recycling? More Pompous Education

It’s bottled water, Nestle, PR Newswire, Facebooktwitterblogwebsitesocialmediaplan, all wrapped into one. It’s brand-new Re-Source(TM) natural spring water, Nestle’s new greener-than-thou entry into the more-environmentally-aware bottled water market. They’re out to raise our awareness and educate us about recycling! And, we’ve got Whole Foods, greenopolis.com, Cradle to Cradle(SM) AND Keep America Beautiful to round out the festive enviro-bandwagon.

Capsulized, what this PR-social media onslaught is all about:

  1. Yet another pricey bottled water (700 ml, $1.69) but in a 25% recycled plastic container focused on “raising consumer awareness about the importance of recycling.”
  2. A sparse and complex system for recycling those bottles at few selected Whole Foods markets. (Initially, 26 in California and Arizona with “goals” for more.)
  3. A stated objective to achieve a 100% recycled Re-Source(TM) container via burdening guilt-laden consumers to return the bottles while “tracking” their efforts via web.
  4. A chump-change (for Nestle, anyway) maximum $200,000 non-profit contribution solely dependent on the tortured efforts of the above-mentioned consumers.

Wow! For those who love bottled water’s convenience, here’s a bottled water that’s actually MORE labor intensive than reusable water bottles! While bottled water has it’s appropriate time and place, WHO would do this? Who would actually buy this water, haul the empties back to their Whole Foods re-source-branded GreenOps(SM) tracking station (if available), register and track their efforts via the web… all for Nestle’s 100% recycled goal, a nickel per bottle for Keep America Beautiful, and a ready supply of overpriced packaged water?

Call me a cynic, say I’m ridiculing a noble effort. The simple truth, as I see it, is: recycling is a third choice behind the higher goals of NO-USE and RE-USE. I don’t believe we should congratulate ourselves on recycling a resource that we didn’t need to consume it in the first place.

Use only what you have to. Re-use whatever you can. Don’t be wasteful. Simple.

UPDATE/AFTERTHOUGHT: For more reading pleasure, awareness and education, check out Waterwired’s post and link earlier this year to the 2008 corporate citizenship report from Nestle Waters North America. (Pretty infographics, judge the content for yourself!)

Another Dirty Deed Blamed on Bottled Water

Newsflash! A celeb stoops low and points the finger at everyone’s favorite whipping boy, bottled water! Celebrity gawkers are in a tizzy about photos and video apparently showing an intoxicated Jaime Pressly (a 32-year-old actress on My Name is Earl) urinating in public outside of a Los Angeles bar.

She has issued a denial on her Twitter page, blaming it on the bottle–the water bottle, that is. Her story: as part of a bridal shower dare, she was actually emptying a bottle of water onto the sidewalk.

“Notice my hand in the back? It’s pouring a bottle of water! C’mon guys! Do you think I would really pee in the entry way to the Abbey in broad daylight!”

After videos were posted to YouTube, however, the gossipers aren’t buying it. I don’t see any bottles either! And even if the tale were true, she certainly didn’t recycle that bottle, now did she?

Saints and Sinners, Drink Up

What water do they serve in hell? I’m guessing none. As the bottled water battle degrades into an old-fashioned good-versus-evil struggle, best to hedge your bets like Liquid Salvation brand (“Pure Water for an Impure World”) with both angel or devil graphics as you prefer.

Their brand tagline “Ask for the Flask” refers to the pocket-ready bottle that’s modeled after flasks popularized by WWII fighter pilots.

(Photo from lytok.com)


Liquid Salvation Water from JOSEPH MASTERS on Vimeo.