Someone sold Hot Dog Water for $28 a bottle to prove a point about false advertising — and people actually bought it
Let’s talk hypothetical situations. If someone tried to sell you a bottle of something called Hot Dog Water for $28, you probably wouldn’t buy it, right? But, what if they said it was a miracle drink that could help make you look younger? You’d still probably say no, right? Don’t answer that. If you secretly said yes, though, you weren’t alone.
At the recent Car Free Day festival in Vancouver, a booth actually sold Hot Dog Water to customers, all thanks to a pretty genius marketing strategy. The booth advertised the bottled water as a gluten-free, Keto diet-compatible drink that’s rich in sodium and a great source of electrolytes. Plus, just look at the bottle’s sleek design and the fancy tilde marks over the Os. The product screams, I am a fancy bottled water that is overpriced but will improve your life.
“With the demands of city life and high stress jobs, electrolyte imbalances are all too common these days. We believe Hog Dog Water can help restore the body’s homeostasis after an electrolyte imbalance,” the Hot Dog Water flier read. “By balancing the state of your body’s multicellular organisms, Hot Dog Water helps you achieve max capacity for biological defences [sic] so you can fight both infection and disease.”
In an interview with Canadian news outlet Global News, Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans claimed that he used scientific research to make the product.
"We've created a recipe, having a lot of people put a lot of effort into research and a lot of people with backgrounds in science really creating the best version of Hot Dog Water that we could," Bevans said.
Considering that the hot dog inside the water bottles — yes, there was a single hot dog inside each bottle — does have protein in it, the science behind the drink sounds sort of plausible?
But if Hot Dog Water sounds like a massive prank, that’s because it is.
Let us explain. Written in fine print at the bottom of the Hot Dog Water brochure, you’ll see an explanation.
"Hot Dog Water in its absurdity hopes to encourage critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it can play in our purchasing choices."
The trick actually worked, though, because Hot Dog Water really did sell.
Even though Bevans spent over $1,500 to create Hot Dog Water, he thinks the stunt was worth it. People bought it for $38 ($28 USD) a bottle.
"From the responses, I think people will actually go away and reconsider some of these other $80 bottles of water that will come out that are ‘raw’ or ‘smart waters,’ or anything that doesn’t have any substantial scientific backing but just a lot of pretty impressive marketing," Bevans told Global News.
When you think of some of the beauty trends that have taken off in recent years, it kind of makes sense that Hot Dog Water actually sold.
When you remember that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop once tried to sell stickers that were supposed to heal people for $60 a pack, the Hot Dog Water stunt suddenly makes a lot of sense. Those stickers weren’t a straight-up purposeful scam like Hot Dog Water. Still, NASA confirmed that Goop’s Bio-Frequency Healing Stickers were a scam, according to Gizmodo. That really puts the “oops” in “Goop.”
Whether the Hot Dog Water scam has opened your eyes to mindless consumerism and false advertising or not, we can all agree that it was pretty funny.
And quite disgusting.
For future reference: Don’t buy Hot Dog Water, especially if it’s $28 a bottle. And remember, not everything that says it’s science-backed actually is.