February 14, 2007

Watered Bottle

Filed under: advertising, Art — Brian @ 8:46 pm

This dates from 2005, but I just noticed it, so I’m telling you about it now.

There is a new brand of water in the Netherlands. Sold as an empty bottle, it requires the buyer to fill up from his own tap.

Neau is being sold in the form of a firm, clear blue plastic (PET) bottle of 33 centiliters at the price of regular mineral water, € 1.80 (US$ 2.23). However, the bottle is empty. Instead of water it contains a rolled-up Neau flyer, a message in a bottle that explains Neau’s position. By not selling water itself, but by branding the water that people are filling the bottles with, Neau is a product and a campaign in one, Liauw explains. “When you drink a bottle of Neau,” he continues. “You indirectly provide a refugee camp in Sudan with seventeen liters of clean drinking water. Every draught for you is ten draughts for them. Drinking here is drinking there.”

Takes the “refill an empty bottle from the tap” thing a few steps further. I’ve never understood why someone would pay more for water than for, say, pop, but they do. I’ve bought bottled watter a few times, but it’s not for the water – it’s for the handy bottles.

Nine quarters is a little much for an empty bottle – but I’d buy a few of these. If I didn’t have to go to the Netherlands to do so. Can you even bring bottles on airplanes now?

(33 centiliters is 0.33 liters … just under 12 ounces)



  1. I’m guilty of buying the occasional bottled water (which I have always assumed is really just tap water anyway), but what a novel idea this Neau (is that like N’eau? As in French for Not Water?)…very clever!

    Comment by gwynne — February 14, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

  2. Pop? Is that the thing that the weasel does?

    (Just kidding. For the record, I’m from Atlanta, and everything carbonated here is a Coke. ;))

    Comment by Stephen — February 15, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  3. I buy it every once in a while, too. But I really like this idea. Most of the bottled water out there is just tap water from someone else’s tap – reading the labels you often see “from the municipal water supply of…” some city.

    They say it’s not derived from French, but I find that hard to believe.

    Comment by Brian — February 15, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  4. It’s soda, Brian. Not pop.

    Comment by jvjannotti — February 15, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

  5. I knew someone would pick on “pop” as soon as I typed it.

    I just want you guys to know that you’re welcome here, even though you talk funny.

    Comment by Brian — February 15, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

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