“New” Edible Water Bottle: Been there, done that in 2010!

Isn’t parody supposed to follow reality? Nah, in our modern internetted world, that’s just another old-timey rule we can toss out!

ediblewaterbottle

Case in point: my internetted world is aflame this past week with news of an innovative, new edible water bottle…an interesting, and apparently award-winning idea! And one that we parodied here for April Fools Day in 2010! You could say the parody beat the reality by a full 4 years! In the end, though, the joke is on us… for failing to envision the obvious opportunity in TossNot and not properly patenting  and protecting this now-awesome idea.

I still believe we did it better, though. (OoHo, feel free to give us a call for some branding and packaging tips. No one knows how to prounounce “OoHo” and that blobby package looks exceedingly creepy – like a unicorn’s egg sac.)

Sigh. Can’t anyone take a joke these days?

tossnot world first edible water bottle
TossNot: The World First Edible Water Bottle!

Sustainable Curiosities and Novelties: Bottled Water Maker

bottled water maker kitchen applianceI spotted this curiosity, the Fresh ‘n Pure Bottled Water Maker,  in the post-Christmas clearance carnage… and the yellow 50%-off clearance sticker signals that this oddball item has been shunned by Santa and will soon be deported to the Island of Misfit Toys.

Too bad, because I’m certain that even the most difficult-to-buy-for people on your gift list do not have one of these babies. With this mean-green contraption, you can have your bottled water and drink it too, powered by modern appliance-driven convenience! Read more

Ice Dew Commercial: Olympic Fail for Water-Deprived Mini-Athletes!

Olympic mini athlete in Ice Dew advertising ChinaWater advertising and sports…they’re still the perfect, hand-holding, snuggling couple at the promotion party!

This latest hookup involves the Olympics and Coca Cola’s Ice Dew (one of the leading bottled water brands in China) created by Bartle Bogle Hearty, Shanghai. The ad’s premise is that since humans are 60% water, Read more

Charmin circa 1952: A Flowery Sales Pitch

While plowing though some forgotten boxes of ephemera (that’s another story for another day) I came across this vintage newspaper advertisement.

Before Mr. Whipple there was this woman: Ms. Particular Chin-touching Centerpiece-Loving Bareshoulders, seen here with pageant “pretty feet,” pondering her bright flower-filled home as well as her hospital-pure potty paper. Hope Mr. Particular isn’t late for dinner again tonight! (Five years after this ad appeared, Charmin was acquired by Procter & Gamble.)

This product was always intended to attract women and their pin money. I learned here that the original Wisconsin-born Charmin was “described as ‘charming’ by an employee, and the Charmin brand name was born.” The flower-compatible product was “designed to look like feminine fashions of the day. Packaging was light blue and featured the silhouette of a woman’s head from a cameo pin, which became known as the “Charmin Lady.”

charmin bath tissue vintage advertisement

Greenwashed Gifts May Require Strong Soap

While round-about on Black Friday I’ve noticed that the shelves are bulging with “green” products for your giving and receiving delight! However, many of these “green” items fall into a definite grey area in usefulness, practicality and good taste.

Take this little gem of a gift I recently received – Poo Poo Paper! That’s right, paper lovingly fashioned in an exceedingly green manner from s***! “Why, thank you! I love it, it’s just what I wanted! If you’ll just set it over there for me, please…” How, I ask you, have we come to the enviro-insanity point where ANYONE would give a gift that proudly trumpets “Made with Real Poo!” Handle this one with kid gloves!

Poo paper scratch pad made from elephant dung

Let’s take a closer look at this, though, as it incorporates many of the marketing hallmarks of “perfect” little gifty-green goods vying for your attention and cash.

package label poo poo paper

1 – It’s unique! Wait until the recipient shouts in delight, “Why, I’ve never seen such a thing!”

2 – Recycling and/or reuse angle: Your green product should clearly state that it is either on it’s way from…(or properly headed to) the recycling bin. The big recycling logo is a must!

3 – Affordable price – but note that this isn’t the same as a “reasonable’ price for a similar non-green item.

inside cute label for poopoo paper scratch pad

Note the clever and cute elephant droppings and slogan!

4 – Direct ties to a less-privileged country/region: any point in the manufacturing/recycling chain counts! So, for example, you could NOT make acceptable greenie “poo paper” from elephant dung gathered at a Western zoo.

5 – Supports a broadly loved “cause.” Who has a problem with conservation of endangered elephants? Not you or me,surely!

6 – Hip and clever concept and presentation – “We’re number one at number two™” So cute, and really makes the shoppers at Urban Outfitters point and smile in approval!

price tag for poopoo paper

Can you guess how I misread "Scratch pad grass" before wearing my reading glasses?

Can your iPad do all THIS? I don’t think so!

Note the importance of "this side facing up" lest you accidentally energize the table!

For all the innovative “pads” already devised, be they iPads, bachelor pads, mouse pads, maxipads, whatever…they all pale in comparison to this, the “Drinking Water Energizer Pad.” In the words of its enthusiastic marketer, Dr. K. Kannan (WOW, a Doctor!) on international marketplace www.alibaba.com

After years of Research we have created this sensational Energizer Pad, which we are sure will be the ultimate penacea for many human sufferings.

How, you ask, does this miraculous item work? It’s all based on sciencey-sounding principles:

Universal Energizer Pad is created, based on Indian Vedic Principles and is totally Non Invasive and harmless. It is charged with more than 1 million Angstrom units (Bovis Units) of Positive Energy permanently using the treasure of Vedic Principles.

You want a guarantee? Well, how’s THIS for a guarantee?

THE LIFE OF THIS ENERGIZER PAD IS LIFETIME.

WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!! I know you’re already excited, but consider it’s usable not only for water, but for just about anything that can be placed on top of it, rendering a plethora of items (even your mobile phone!) supercharged in a matter of minutes!

WHEN THE ITEM TO BE ENERGIZED IS KEPT OVER UNIVERSAL ENERGIZER PAD: IT

  • Positively Energizes drinking water many times, within 30 minutes.
  • Energized water whwn consumed helps to remove Toxins from body and helps to increase immunity.
  • Energized water when taken, activates all 7 Chakras of the body within minutes!
  • Energized water facilitates a sound sleep in the night.
  • Retains freshness of fruits, vegetables, milk, curd etc., and increases their energy levels.
  • Eliminates toxins considerably from Toxic eatables and drinks.
  • Positively charges any eatable items, including Medicines.
  • Highly energizes food we eat , with the plate on the Pad.
  • Harmonizes Mobile Phone Radiation for 24 hours when kept over night on the Pad.
  • Highly vitalizes Hair oils, Soaps, Shampoos, Body creams etc.,
  • Works as a good pain reliever when kept over or under the paining areas.

And best of all…this product will literally get you off your a** and moving. “Relieves stress considerably when used as a seat under the Chair cushion and helps to increase productivity considerably. Does enormous good to IT Professionals who are highly stressed lot.”

So don’t you feel silly now with your hopelessly old-fashioned Red Bull and ergonomic chair?

D’ja Ever Wonder How Much PR Flacks Make?

Several news outlets this week alterted us to the premiere of a new video from the International Bottled Water Association, “The Inner Workings of a Bottled Water Plant. Featuring the de rigueur fresh-faced teen narrator (who begins the clip with the grabby intro, “D’ja ever wonder…”) the video takes the unnaturally-curious teen through the plant with a throbbing club music background beat.

I can’t tell you much more about the video because at ELEVEN MINUTES in length, this was about 9 minutes longer than I personally could bear. (FastCompany.com toughed it out and has a snarky writeup, found here.) Well, can’t blame a flack for trying, right? But sorry, FAIL.

This fellow is the "credible source" offered by IBWA.

A little poking around among IBWA’s other videos unearths some crazier items, like “The Real Story of Bottled Water.” Believe it our not, the video describes the clay-faced spokesbottle shown below as a “credible, informed & charming source.” But I really bolted straight in my chair when I looked at the hands. Why, YES it is! The VERY SAME HANDS of the bird-shooting swag noted earlier on this blog. They are of the same species! I smell a conspiracy.

I looks like this cute little water drop swag is making a rude gesture!

Party with the Petunias

I’m on vacation right now so I’m coasting instead of posting…but enjoy this entertaining psa from Denver Water from a couple summers ago!

Drunk Flowers: Denver Water by Ad Agency: Sukle Advertising & Design, Denver, USA, July 2008

No Swill, All Spill: Toyota’s Glass of Water Campaign

Huh? I’ll file “A Glass of  Water” under the latest entry in the bloated category of silly iPhone marketing apps. To participate in this Toyota stunt, you’ll need either a vivid imagination or an iPhone ( which will be between 18% and 28% of you smartphone users depending on where in the civilized world you live).

A Glass of Water is an initiative from Toyota Sweden which asks us to drive as if we had a glass of water perched on our dashboard; in this way, we should be able to cut our fuel consumption by 10%.

Our iPhone app – ”A Glass of Water” records your driving distance, time, fuel consumption and water spilled. After each drive you can analyse your results and see on a map where you can improve your driving for the future. The results are automatically uploaded to this website and compared to other participants. You can of course participate in the challenge without the iPhone app as well.

Because I am (by choice) iPhone-less, I’ll have to rely on my imagination! Shall I just use the real thing? Well, no, according to the website:

No, spilling water on your dashboard can of course be unsafe, so we do advice you to take precautions. The important thing is that you apply the principles of driving with a glass of water. You can do this by driving with our iPhone app, or simply imagining a glass of water on your dashboard while driving.

I don’t think I can make it out of my driveway without upending my virtual glass. However, I’m sure there’s an app for that!

Cute swag drops a subtle hint?

At this time last week, I was in Chicago at an annual techy hobnob for water folks, the American Water Works Association’s ACE10. (I was a presenter at a workshop on social media for utilities–a great day and some great people! More on that soon.)

My impression, mega-condensed: lotsa pipes, lotsa pumps and lotsa water geekery. All–and I mean ALL–displays were blue. At my lunch table the conversation was about algae, and everyone seemed to think that was a perfectly awesome subject to pair with dining. Now, this didn’t seem to be a swag-heavy event but I did manage to pick up a few things. (Good thing…those little Snickers bars turned out to be my lunch several days later!)

And the magnifying glass was handy, as I needed to get a closer look…

What’s this? WHAT!? Is this adorable little  droplet giving me the one-finger wave? Is there such a thing as subliminal swag? I guess they somehow knew I wasn’t a purchasing decision-maker for pipes and pumps!