Guess What They’re Selling

ResourceI used to play a game with Natalie when she was little called “Guess What They’re Selling.” We played it with television commercials.  The goal was to figure out what they were selling. Natalie loved playing this game. The best outcome is that commercials don’t work on her the way marketing executives hope they will. She is not captive to their suggestions that using/buying their products will make her happy/beautiful/successful. I think this is a game that we can all benefit from playing into adulthood. We’d all be better off if we were conscious consumers vs. captive consumers.

A story appeared in the New York Times today about an ad campaign for a new product Nestlé is hoping women of a certain age and income bracket will be enticed into buying. The product name is Resource and it is bottled water. Resource is being aimed at “a woman who is a little more on the trendy side and higher-income side, and the bull’s eye is 35 years old,” according to the group marketing manager.  The print ads show the bottle in lush woodland settings. The ad headline reads, “It’s more than hydration, it’s total electrolytenment.”

Guess what they’re selling?

Electrolytes.  The truth is all water, except distilled water, contains some naturally occurring electolytes like sodium and potassium.  Additionally, unless your exercise includes extreme sports, you do not need to replace your electrolytes.


Lifestyle. The “group marketing manager” for Resource says, “We want to raise [Resource] to the level of a lifestyle brand, where she’s proud to carry around Resource as her bottled water accessory, so to speak.”

In 2012, Nestlé spent $51.5 million on domestic advertising for its bottled water brands, which include San Pellegrino and Perrier. The Resource ad campaign will include print ads in People, Vanity Fair, In Style and Fitness. The Lifetime reality show “Project Runway” will feature the bottled water in its 12th season. There are endorsement deals and even fundraising events for Dress for Success, the organization that provides professional clothing and confidence training to women struggling to join the workforce.  Might they be suggesting that carrying around a Resource bottle will help you get a job?

I urge everyone, especially if you are a woman around the age of 35, to be on the alert for the Resource ads.

Ask yourself, “Guess What They’re Selling?”

Is this really a good way to spend your money?

plastic bottles

Nestlé won’t tell you that over 80 percent of empty water bottles end up in the nation’s landfills. Instead, they will brag about using bottles that contain 50 percent recycled plastic. The reason they will brag is that Coca-Cola uses about 5 percent recycled plastic and PepsiCo uses about 10 percent. But isn’t this like bragging about killing half the forest instead of the whole forest?

Do you really want to continue to use plastic bottles when you can buy an attractive re-usable glass bottle?


Aren’t there more fun, creative, unique, interesting, and refreshing ways to display your lifestyle?

I’d like to think we can choose to be “enlightened” vs. “electrolytenmented.”



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