People at the Car Free Day festival in Vancouver saw plenty of good food for sale from street vendors — but there was one beverage being sold that they’ll probably never forget.
A booth at the annual festival peddled something called Hõt Dõg Water, complete with a fancy-looking banner and a mascot dressed as a hot dog.
When intrigued potential customers walked up to the booth, they saw impressive bottles of water with hot dogs floating in them. The price for a bottle of Hot Dog Water? $37.99 Canadian, or about $28.57 in American dollars!
Twitter user Sexy Ben snapped some shots of the hot dog water, and dubbed it “a new millennial drinking fad”:
Why would anyone pay for water that tastes like a frankfurter? Because it helps you lose weight, of course!
The product’s marketing materials claimed that “unfiltered” Hot Dog Water is gluten-free, compatible with the popular keto diet, will help the drinker increase brain function, look younger and have more vitality. One testimonial quote for the drink even hailed it as “the NEW coconut water.”
A Clever Way To Get People Thinking
But, wait, this can’t be serious, right?
Of course not.
The entire Hot Dog Water booth was an elaborate interactive art display meant to “encourage critical thinking” when it comes to product marketing. The last paragraph of the text in the photo above reads: “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.”
“It’s really sort of a commentary on product marketing, and especially sort of health-quackery product marketing,” he told the news outlet.
The impressive display cost Bevans about $1,200 of his own money, as well as about $500 from grants. In the end, he said he sold about 60 bottles of Hot Dog Water at the festival!
RELATED: OK, we know that Hot Dog Water isn’t real … but these edible water pods totally are!
Think Twice Before Paying The Price
While we hope that real hot dog water doesn’t catch on, it’s not the first time consumers have fallen for packaging that is packed with marketing buzzwords — but no science.
Before sliding your card at the checkout, you’ll want to do a once-over for words like “superfood,” “energy-boosting” and “whole grain” all of which might lead you to believe a product is something it isn’t.
In fact, words like “natural” on food or cosmetics can be completely misleading because the term isn’t legally regulated. That means you might be buying something “natural” with the intention of leading a greener or safer lifestyle, but you might be purchasing something that is anything but.
Let’s Be Frank
The bottom line? Hot dog water serves as a good reminder to think before you eat or, in this case, drink. It’s easy to get attached to marketing lingo that is designed to make you feel like you need to have particular products. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about hot dog water, it’s that a little research is definitely required before buying in.