Marketplace Scratch Pad

All wet

Scott Jagow Mar 22, 2010

Since today is World Water Day, I thought we might revisit the subject of bottled water, courtesy of a cool new project.

I’ve written about this topic before before, but The Story of Stuff Project launched a new video today that is a good explainer:

…this new film uses simple words and images to explain a complex problem, in this case manufactured demand: how you get people to think they need to spend money on something they don’t actually need or already have.

Over the last two decades, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle and other big beverage companies have spent untold millions of dollars making us afraid of tap water. They’ve told us that if we want to be sure what we drink is pure and clean–not to mention hip and fashionable–we should buy bottled water.

Unfortunately, it worked.

The video points out a Fiji Water marketing campaign that made fun of Cleveland tap water. Cleveland didn’t like that too much, so it did some tests:

“These tests showed a glass of Fiji water is lower quality, it loses taste tests against Cleveland tap water, and costs thousands of times more. This story is typical of what happens when you bottled tap water against tap water.”

Here’s the video:

I also recommend perusing The Story of Stuff site. There’s a film on cap and trade and some other videos coming soon. There’s also a video that describes the project, which is summarized here:

Annie Leonard, an activist who has spent the past 10 years traveling the globe fighting environmental threats, narrates the Story of Stuff, delivering a rapid-fire, often humorous and always engaging story about “all our stuff–where it comes from and where it goes when we throw it away.”

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