Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This water brought to you by...

Part of life today is being bombarded by marketing messages from the moment we get out of bed until we come crashing back at night. But there's always been one sacred place where we are insulated from advertising...the water cooler...right?

Not anymore. A company named AquaCell Media has implemented "Coolertising," where they use advertising on water coolers that are distributed for free to retail outlets, such as CVS and Kmart. Advertisers include Dove and CBS, who was apparently concerned that Survivor's share of water cooler talk was slipping against that of American Idol. (Hat tip to the trend spotters at Springwise for bringing Coolertising to my attention). Dove has apparently seen a 34 percent increase in sales of Dove Cool Moisture as a result of Coolertising. That sounds like ROI, meaning your next drink of water might be brought to you by...advertising.

We can just hear it now: Dasani complaining that AquaCell is destroying their business because Kmart shoppers can get the free water instead of buying theirs. The Water Industry Association of America will take AquaCell to court for water piracy. And consumers, well, maybe they'll appreciate the free water. And there will never again be that awkward silence as two gulping gossips converge on their beverage station of choice. The topic of their conversation will be pre-selected by CBS.

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