Vitamin Water

A while ago Desrie from iKineo sent me an email asking if they can drop off a “a product purely for personal consumption”. Cool, free stuff.

Last week I found this big black box on my desk containing 6 bottles of Vitamin Water.



My comments:

The first thing I noticed was the extreme packaging. Not very environmentally friendly, but bold and striking at first glance. I’m pretty sure the packaging cost more than the contents. Don’t worry kids, I recycle.

At further inspection.. I was not that impressed. These people seem to not know what capital letters are for. Not a single capital letter to be found.. other than the “GLACEAU” brand, all upper case.

The wording on the bottles kinda reminds me of a Ford Fairlane quote: reading it was “like masturbating with a cheese grater: slightly amusing, but mostly painful.” It tries to be cute.. I have no idea who they are aiming this at.

Legally we can’t tell you that after drinking this, thelma from brakpan threw a cement mixer across a rugby field, or that this drink gave william from nelspruit enough strength to stop a speeding train.

I kid you not. They actually write this on one of the bottles.. without any capital letters. What are they thinking? It makes no sense. The wording just does not fit the brand and the product. GLACEAU seems like an international brand.. (yup,, US) then you notice it’s made by Coca Cola, locally.. they spell it “coca-cola” though. So, let me try and understand this: using the word “brakpan” will make me associate with your product? Are you insane?

The orange one (c+calcium) was a bit crap, tasted like watered down Barocca.. and the way it permanently changed the coloured the plastic cap was scary.

One of them tasted very nice. The rest of them tasted OK.

Do I think it’s a cool product? I kinda get the idea and yes, sometimes I get bored and don’t know what do drink. Maybe.

Would I buy it? Maybe, would depend on the price vs the price of standard still bottled water. Then again I realise that even the still bottled water (Valpre) I have on my desk today is now a Coca Cola brand.

In the end Vitamin Water is probably the same RO (municipal) water that goes into Coke and Powerade.. Duff light, Duff standard, Duff extra.. all from the same pipe, just a different brand and price.

I hate Coke. Yeah, you got me, I’m one of those people that just distrust big corporations and governments out of basic principle. Trust has shifted people.

Side note: One company that is doing something right is Clover.. I really like their Vanilla Milk and Aquartz Natural Mineral Water.

Hope that was not too harsh. It’s my honest opinion.

Thanks for the free water (-;

14 thoughts on “Vitamin Water

  1. hi there,

    i’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy the glaceau vitaminwater samples sent to you, and apologies for the late response.

    we have nothing against uppercase letters, in fact we know many good people who use them, but we like to do things differently. and we have a style all our own. we always use lowercase to convey the friendly, conversational and approachable voice of glacéau.

    we apologise if you were offended by the copy on our bottles – our goal is to communicate the product in a fun, irreverent and humorous way. “brakpan” was used simply as a point of reference that is familiar to most south africans, nothing more.

    glacéau vitaminwater contains no artificial colours, flavours or added preservatives. unlike synthetic colours, the natural colours we use can stain the caps for glacéau vitaminwater over time. beta-carotene is the natural ingredient that stains the caps because it is naturally attracted to the softer plastic on the underside of the cap. the product is still safe for consumption and the changing color does not impact the flavour or functionality of glacéau vitaminwater.

    glacéau in the us continues to work exactly as it did before with the same team and reporting structure. as a new market for glacéau vitaminwater we are working very closely with the us and global glacéau team to embed the same principles and philosophies in south africa as we do everywhere we sell glacéau vitaminwater.

    hope glaceau grows on you soon :)

  2. Hey Desrie

    I did enjoy most of them.

    “and we have a style all our own.”

    I hope it works out for you. I think it’s a bit lame.. but I understand it’s a very competitive space.. so maybe ignoring writing conventions attracts some attention.

    Maybe I can understand you doing this on a bottle, but writing a lengthy block of text in this style is just strange.

    Do you have bad memories of your English teacher at school maybe? (-:

    Anyway, you have my thoughts.. you seem to be saying you are tied to your international brand identity.

    So, the only thing I can suggest is that you review your “cute” and “familiar to most south africans” copywriting.

  3. Please explain why are you deliberaly excluding the sugar load of 33grams (2 tablespoons) of sugar from your label. Have you thought about a diabetic? Why was vitaminwater being sued in the USA?

  4. I read on the net that they are no better than Coke, in fact they being sued for false advertising.

  5. hijohan,

    we’re rather proud over the contents that go into a bottle of great-tastin’ glacéau vitaminwater and display this information clearly and boldly (well, as bold as we can in lower-case lettering) on the nutritional fact panel. each bottle clearly marks its kilojoules content, but on average, a bottle of glacéau vitaminwater contains less than 500 kilojoules, and approximately 27 grams of sugar (which is half the sugar found in the average cold drink or sports drink.) the type of sugar that goes into a bottle of glacéau vitaminwater is also relevant as we use only natural sugars: sucrose (natural cane sugar) and fructose. these are moderate and low gi sugars respectively, which means that the energy is delivered to the blood more steadily, leading to energy sustenance and less insulin release.

    it’s important to remember that, like everything, glacéau vitaminwater works best when its drunk as part of a balanced diet, and, if it consumed in moderation as part of a regulated diet, it is not unsafe for diabetics. of course, we recommend that if an individual has particular health concerns that they chat with their doctor prior to incorporating glacéau vitaminwater into their daily lifestyle. glacéau vitaminwater is designed to supply its drinkers with great-tasting and flexible way to get many of the nutrients and hydration we all need each day.

    the cspi suit alleges that, glacéau vitaminwater has misrepresented the nutritional content and health benefits of its beverages which we at glaceau vitaminwater disagree completely with. people can clearly see from the nutrition facts panel on every bottle of glacéau vitaminwater what vitamins it contains, and at what levels, plus the number of calories in every serving. further, the ingredient panel on every package is compliant with all requisite regulations and provides full disclosure on the contents of each beverage. consumers also know that every glacéau vitaminwater product is a great-tasting water beverage that provides hydration as well as some of the essential nutrients and vitamins we all need each day.

    the cspi suit, additionally, alleges that glacéau vitaminwater labels are deceptive…. again we disagree completely. the labels on glacéau vitaminwater bottles represent the simplicity of what’s inside the bottle, speaking to our drinkers in a way we all want to be spoken to. people can clearly see the nutrition facts, vitamins, minerals and calorie content–plus the ingredients–on every label.

    cspi (center for science in the public interest) is an organization based in washington, dc that routinely attacks consumer products in the press. they frequently make headline-grabbing claims about what they believe to be food safety and nutrition issues; often complaining the government is ineffective and industry can’t be trusted.

  6. “speaking to our drinkers in a way we all want to be spoken to”

    Haha, amusing. I don’t want to be spoken to like that.

  7. I’ve been looking for this every day for the last 3 weeks in every store in most town in Joburg for 3 weeks now..

    Where can I get it??

    ”select” stores on EVERY press release does not help anybody!

  8. Explain it all as much as you like. The reality is that human bodies dont really need any of the ingredients that you put into any of your products anyway. So whether or not they are “good for you” is irrelevant. People are going to drink a coke if they feel like one.

    I dont use any of the coca cola products, not even valpre. If they arent bad for you, they are bad for the environment.

  9. In any sane society this stuff would be shunned like the plague. Crystalline fructose? There’s not too much this side of poison that’s worse that you can put in your body.

    Basically misleading advertising (Vitamins! Must be healthy!) attempting to con the ignorant and buy off bloggers by supplying free drinks. Owned by Coca Cola, not surprising.

    Thanks for your more objective post. The cheap marketing tactic seems to be working elsewhere as bloggers given a free sample write rave reviews based on the pretty colours etc…

  10. You people are all idiots. You complain about Coca Cola being bad for the ‘environment’, do you eat fish and drink tap water? You’re ignorant and you’re complaining because they’re a huge corporation and they make lots of money. I work in the environmental field and can tell you now that absolutely every choice you make in your day, from putting the kettle on to make coffee or taking a shower has a negative effect on the environment.
    Clover – seriously?

  11. Thank you, FF. That is exactly what I was going to say. You have restored my faith in the human race.

  12. I love Vitamin Water!! I hate that I spend R14 a day on the stuff. but it is seriously thirst quenching!! Awesome for summer. And I find the advertising very creative.

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