Got Water?

Bottle of Beau Pal water

Bottle of B'eau Pal water

Its summertime in Washington, DC, and although it has been a comparatively mild summer, it is still hot and humid enough to make you want to jump in the pool, or have a tall glass of crisp, cold water.

How about the latest in boutique bottled water, B’eau Pal?

Unlike other high end aqua refreshment, it’s source is not some glacial mountain in the Alps, or natural spring in the Adirondacks. No, this water comes straight to us from India.

Bhopal, India, to be exact. Site of the world’s largest industrial accident.

The B’eau Pal campaign is the latest from The Bhopal Medial Appeal and The Yes Men, in an effort to raise awareness about the incident and put further pressure on Dow Chemical to be held accountable.

The launch of this campaign coincides with the 25th anniversary of the accident, which has killed 20,000, and continues to kill at least one person a day.

The campaign features a beautiful red label and even includes a nutrition label, which indicates the drink has:

The campaign is clever, but not designed for mass distribution. Rather, the Yes Men had hoped to present the bottles to Dow Chemical executives earlier this month. However, word got out, and protesters found the Dow building completely empty. Had there been some kind of confrontation, perhaps there would have been more press, and consequently more awareness.

Unfortunately, all that’s left is a pretty bottle of poisoned water.

While I like the idea for the campaign, I can’t help feel like it is just there to make US feel better. Sure its witty. If the Dow folks had been there, we could really smirk. And hopefully the coverage would have raised some awareness and possible generated some funds.

But was there really hope that the campaign would change Dow’s mind about taking responsibility?

I’d like to know how the campaign measures success in this case? What’s the return on investment here?


4 responses to “Got Water?

  1. hello,

    the return on investment for the B’eauPal publicity stunt was excellent thanks!
    The financial investment was tiny. The Yes Men’s publicity team paid for the cost of the bottles (100 bottles made) and the design agency contributed their time free of charge. Everything else was done with the help of volunteers.
    We had some good coverage in the printed press and have been extremely well reported online.
    It made little difference whether the Dow executives were there or not as the vacated offices made a good, but different story.
    Of course we don’t expect a stunt like this to change Dow’s position re Bhopal but we do hope that we’re raising awareness with a new generation of potential supporters.

  2. Thanks, Colin, for the update! Its great to know that so many services were paid for or donated! Its a great idea for such an important cause!

  3. familyforrest

    That is really interesting. Thanks for bringing this article more to light and it’s great to have a friend that can give you an update and answer some of the very insightful questions. Definitely not what I at first thought the article was going to present. Thanks!

  4. I’m very glad that people are interested!

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