Marketing bottled water; or, have you seen inside Kris Jenner’s fridge?


A symbol of status: Bottled water inside Kris Jenner’s fridge

Globally, every year, we collectively spend over $100 billion on bottled water. Now, of course, there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons for bottled water to exist – the inability to access clean water, whether it be a permanent problem or one that arises in the event of a disaster of some kind, being the primary motivator. Nevertheless, a huge portion of that chunk of change comes from those who do have a high-quality source of water within reach.

So what’s the deal? Why are Australians forking over $500 million on something that is, essentially, free? The answer is marketing…

Choice writer Chris Doyle states that bottled water has been “hailed as the marketing triumph of the century” yet, rightly, points out that it is no better at hydrating us than tap water. It seems as though we’ve been conditioned to think that bottled water is in someway more beneficial to us. A quick glance at the bottled water section of your local supermarket should give you an idea why.

‘Clean’. ‘Pure’. ‘Fresh’. ‘Natural’. These are the phrases you’ll be sure to encounter. While, simultaneously, you’ll see endless iconography of snow-capped mountains, pristine springs and babbling brooks. John Jewell of the Conversation argues that, in opposition to the supposed artificiality of today’s modern life, we’re promised something natural and pure, something that is sure to help the body stay youthful. And how is it packaged? Invariably in transparent plastic. What better way to see the natural nectar inside?

Furthermore, and as a result of this collective marketing push, bottled water has come to be indicative of a certain social status; a particular lifestyle. Ever watch MTV Cribs back in the day? Or had the displeasure of sitting through an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians? Then you’ve probably seen the stack of bottled waters sitting in their refrigerators. Take a look at the fridge of mother hen, Kris Jenner, above. Bottled water is a symbol of economic stature. Likewise, in the fitness scene bottled water has become just as key a part of the routine as your active wear and your kale. As Paul Henry contends, “Take Coke’s Pump brand, for example. Just the word ‘pump’ gives the imagery of being able to lift you up and give you more energy, so it’s perfect for the gym.”

It’s no wonder then when we’re faced with this, that when we see a humble tap we somehow consider it inferior to its bottled counterpart. Yet the surprising truth is, many of your favourite bottled waters are simply purified tap water. That’s right. The same stuff that is over thousands of times cheaper. These brands include Nature’s Best, Pureau, Aqua Pura and Refresh.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, studies have shown that many can’t even tell the difference between tap and bottled water. Rather than bore you with statistics, we’ll let the following video from Penn and Teller’s fantastic show, Bullshit!, do the talking.

It may be tough, but hopefully, you’ll be able to put aside the clever marketing from the beverage behemoths and remember that simple, free tap water is the way to go.

#backtothetap #hydrated #choosetap #betterthanbottled


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