back to article Vitamin Water gets massive publicity for new flavor: Utter BS

It's your lucky day: sugary soft drink maker Vitamin Water has said it will give you $100,000 if you are able to give up your smartphone for a year. That's right, in a country of 328 million people where the average wage is around $50,000, a company that sells sugar drinks has decided to do what generations of lawmakers have …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    Gimme I'll take it

    Until last year I had a dumb phone and an ipod touch 5. I'd switch back for $1000. I don't need to surf the net from the beach or while walking the dog.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gimme I'll take it

      That's the other catch. You have to already be a frequent smartphone user. Not sure how one proves that.

      I myself was thinking along the lines of entering my grandmother. Reading the rules dashed that thought.

    2. d-m

      Re: Gimme I'll take it

      ...and buy yourself an iPhone X?

    3. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Gimme I'll take it

      I decided rather to abstain from Vitamin Water.

      * With 33 grams of sugar in every bottle, both my body and pocketbook are better off.

      (Things you can learn on a smartphone)

  2. Richard Tobin

    Free advertising

    And I would never have heard of it if you hadn't reported it.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Free advertising

      Likewise. Saw "vitamin water" in the headline in the feed, and thought it sounded like a startup with some possibly-novel proposition, perhaps on the health bandwagon like coconut water or birch water. Except that the gimmick seemed implausible.

      Do I take it "vitamin water" is something 'merkins would automatically recognise as a brand name? I guess El Reg's .uk heritage must be pretty-much dead when it assumes we'll recognise the name.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Free advertising

        You can get in the UK, for example here -

        Also available at Asda and Waitrose. Used to be available at Tesco and Sainsburys, but not any more.

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Free advertising

        "Do I take it "vitamin water" is something 'merkins would automatically recognise as a brand name?"

        Not American, but living outside of the UK and I recognise it. It's not bad, but I'll drink blue powerade. So the "natural healthy" aspect isn't for me.

        Essentially it's the whole scam of selling a bottle of water for a couple of bucks. The water (or water based beverage) costs generally more to keep sterile, bottle and distribute than to manufacture, so it's all down to marketing. and putting the appropriate filling and label on it. It's what Cola and Pepsi do so well :)

        It's also why brand name soft drinks are so expensive. Even when they cut out sugar in exchange for cheaper sweeteners, they cost at least twice what the full fat varieties do. For advertising. So you end up paying more for a product, in order to have money spent persuading you to buy said product.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Real Water Pub

          Essentially it's the whole scam of selling a bottle of water for a couple of bucks

          The Two Ronnies were ahead of their time with this sketch...

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Free advertising

          So the "natural healthy" aspect isn't for me.

          You're in luck. It's the "natural healthy" aspect that's the scam in this case.

      3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Free advertising

        It's got electrolytes...

        1. Graham Dawson

          Re: Free advertising


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free advertising

      I think you spelt "Free $100,000 to a family member when they 'accidentally' get selected as a winner" wrong.

  3. ThatOne Silver badge

    Bah. It's just the usual "Too good to be true" promise

    Most people know to look for the small print saying that their chances to win anything of value are non-existing, or entail huge sacrifices.

    Unfortunately there is a surprisingly large amount of people who just wants to believe someone out there wants to give them thousands of dollars just out of the kindness of his heart. (Which is actually less believable than the existence of Santa Claus.)

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Bah. It's just the usual "Too good to be true" promise

      Wait, so Santa Claus doesn't exist?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Santa Claus

        Of course he exists - I saw him yesterday. Three times, in three different shopping centres.

        He's magic as he can be everywhere at the same time.

        1. The Nazz Silver badge

          Re: Santa Claus

          Unless you are a delivery driver ( and i assume not) you have my sympathies ( and they're a rare, very rare thing).

          Once a month is my limit.

          tbf, it's quite an accomplished and well designed campaign. Nothing new, back in the good old days many a business offered a small prize for the public using their creative minds in submitting a multitude of free slogans, some good some crap but usually a winner is in there.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Bah. It's just the usual "Too good to be true" promise

        Of course he exists. He usually works in a governmental office in Vienna. There's been a documentary about it:

        1. LeoP

          Re: Bah. It's just the usual "Too good to be true" promise

          Since yours truly lives in Vienna let me elaborate: Vienna City services (from trash collection to dog tax) are organized into "Magistratsabteilungen", or "Divisions of the Magistrate", called MAx with x being a Number between 1 and somewhere around 70.

          The series is about an imaginary "MA2412", the division responsible for Christmas decoration - you can imagine that a division of civil servants having exactly nothing to do for 10+ months of the year (and I mean exactly nothing, not the figurative-but-true nothing) creates a good backdrop for a comedy series.

          Bad thing though, that neither script nor acting nor ... ahem ... anything in that series is of better quality than what would be produced by a "Magistratsabteilung"

          1. Christian Berger Silver badge

            Re: Bah. It's just the usual "Too good to be true" promise

            "imaginary "MA2412""

            But I learned about it from a VHS video tape I got directly from the ORF-Shop. Surely their standards of reporting wouldn't allow them to just lie on video tape. It would be like if Doctor Who would turn out to just have been made up.

          2. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: a division of civil servants having exactly nothing to do for 10+ months of the year

            So a bit like DExEU then?

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Target audience

    In short, we are, remain, and have always been suckers. But then Vitamin Water already knew it. It makes a ton of money selling "vitamin water."

    It won't be us rational humans but probably the FB users who jump all over this type of thing.. money for nothing, yada,yada, yada and instant popularity. Some of the stories I've heard from friends use FB make the place seem to be grifters' wet dream.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Target audience

      Target audience? Splendid idea! Sadly less ethical (or lawful) than branding 'Vitamin Water'. Or could explain why there's pressure to ban high capacity magazines.

      But this being the Internet, could you make >$100,000 placing your phone inside a bottle of 'Vitamin Water' and livestreaming it for a year?

  5. llaryllama

    It's got electrolytes...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      I just want something that has CAFFEINE in it

      1. dbtx Bronze badge
        Thumb Up

        amen brother.

        When I'm NOT punishing myself at some fast food place, all I ever drink are water and coffee. Plain water, to be clear. Not something called 'vitamin water' which is inexplicably NOT supposed to imply it is in any way healthy. Wait, scratch that. I do occasionally drink genuine vitamin water. The water is washing down a vitamin in pill form and helps speed its dissolution if by chance my gut isn't already half full of coffee.

        1. NeilPost

          Re: amen brother.

          Vitamin pills ........ sigh suffer from a bad diet??? Or some sort of medical issue???

          Another market for suckers

  6. Totally not a Cylon

    Cali will ban it!

    It's got that pesky hydrogen hydroxide in it which means the sane state of California will ban it shortly anyway....

    Disclaimer for the State of California: the above post may contain traces of sarcasm.

    1. dogcatcher

      Re: Cali will ban it!

      whilst they do nothing about the trade in hydroxic acid

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Cali will ban it!

        What's wrong with hydroxic acid? My £700 moisturising serum has hydroxic acid in it, and viper venum (aka snake oil).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cali will ban it!

      This comment contains an idea that the State of California has determined may cause cancer

  7. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

    "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitamin Water was a healthy beverage"


    "Vitamin" -> $RELIABLE_HEALTH_INFO_SOURCE said that this is good

    "Water" -> Intuitively known as good

    "Vitamin Water" -> "no consumer could be reasonably misled" et cetera?

    How can their statement make sense to a person who never tried the beverage nor knows that the parent company is a megacorp?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitamin Water was a healthy beverage"

      I always assumed it was healthy, but have only drunk it about twice so never mind.

  8. W Donelson

    Totally a scam. A lottery, not a challenge.

    1. dbtx Bronze badge

      How do they even have you convince them the smartphone is off? Hopefully not by tweeting nonsense from it... but I don't care. I CBA to go and read the contest requirements. I gotta go make some coffee.

  9. getHandle


    Alright, it might be a pointless drink but it claims 0g sugar per bottle, so I'm not sure what all the references to sugary drinks are about...

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Sugar?

      You must be looking at the .Zero variety, here is a link to the normal stuff, definitely contains a lot of sugar for something advertised as water...

      1. getHandle

        Re: Sugar?

        Wow! Looks like it's GB-only for the sugar-free version:

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sugar?

      "23 g per 500 ml"

      Wikipedia knows all. Perhaps they do a "diet/zero" version that has no sugar too...?

  10. Palpy

    Although I never watch television at home --

    -- I'm with relatives for the holidays, and I saw this ad. It was unclear from the context, but I assumed that only one person would be chosen to get the cookie.

    The beverage itself is a rather pallid concoction of fruit juices (not enough for flavor, really, just enough to add color) and sugar. The "Zero" variety is sweetened with stevia and a tiny bit of fructose. Overall, the low-cal variety of the drink is a better choice than sweet tea or bottled "lemonade" if you're on the road and can't drink a sensible, healthy beverage such as beer.

  11. The Nazz Silver badge

    At least it didn't require a tattoo

    across someone's forehead advertising the product.

    No link handy but some years back The Reg had an article with some dumb redneck, probably quite impoversished too, taking them up on the offer, to be paid $100,000 if they had the radio stations logo and frequency tattooed on their forehead. Doing so and not getting the payout, going to court and losing*. Because "advertising" by itself is a "puff" and not meant to be taken seriously.

    To add insult to injury (self inflicted mind) the radio station changed it's name and frequency shortly afterwards.

    *tbf if i were a Judge i'd have ruled in his favour.

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Food for thought

    “The smartphone is a threat to the Amish not only for the darker aspects of the internet, such as access to pornography, but also for the way it can change the way we behave,” says Erik Wesner, founder of the authoritative Amish America website. “We have all got quickly used to finding instant solutions online. These can erode traditional values that the Amish revere, such as patience and dependence upon their community

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Food for thought

      Don't worry, Armish people, the smartphone won't stop you accessing porn!

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Food for thought

      "the authoritative Amish America website.'

      The whaaaat?

      Would that be the same people as this one

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    Vitamin Water

    In some places known as: Utter Bullshit

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll do it!

    I've been living without a "smart" phone for 45 years, reckon another year is doable.

  15. NeilPost

    As the story is UKnoeiginaring, if you peel the label in the bottle does it say Dasani water?? Coca-ola are probably still trying to shift stocks if it :-)

  16. SVV Silver badge

    They've overspent on this concept

    Where I live, the supermarket trolleys in the checkout queues are loaded up with bottles and bottles of what they call "water". Adding vitamins to it is an expensive waste of time when you see how much people will pay to drink something that tastes a little bit of plastic, rather than the perfectly drinkable stuff that comes out of the tap for free.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: They've overspent on this concept

      "Adding vitamins to it is an expensive waste of time"

      They know that too, so don't do it. Vitamin is just the name, not the description.

  17. chivo243 Silver badge

    Publicity Grab

    Nothing more... I guess the student debt crises in the US is really making some Marketeers think!

  18. Daniel Hall


    I thought they were selecting ONE person out of all entries to go smartphone free for ONE year to win ONE prize of $100,000....

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Wait...

      That's what the article says, yes.

  19. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    old film

    I seem to remember a similar plot being proposed in 1971's "Cold Turkey"

  20. Geekpride

    The resurrection!

    I'm vaguely tempted to enter, mainly because if I won, I'd dig out my old Nokia 5110. I have absolutely no doubt it would still work fine after being charged up.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vut I thought

    Vitamin water was a healthy beverage. Because it's water and vitamins. Vitamins are good for you and me, so that means Vitamin water is healthy. Doesn't it?

  22. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Where are the Fat Soluble Vitamins?

    Perhaps "Vitamin Water" should be renamed "Water Soluble Vitamin Water"

  23. RatX

    Imagine, if you will...

    I was recently in hospital and a well meaning friend or relative brought me a couple of bottles of Vitamin Water to prevent me from perishing. I don't normally buy it on principal, so it was interesting to examine the bottle up close. Not only is the moniker deliberately misleading, but the packaging also resembles that of a medical product, with clear but densely packed text and simple panels of colour.

    It does, however, show a certain amount of villainous chutzpah on the part of the corporate overlords. One can imagine their lawyer winning the case when they were sued for misrepresentation. No doubt being millimeters within the law, and probably exploiting some obscure technicality - he does a burnout in the parking lot in his Porsche whilst flipping the assembled press the bird, and goes on to make celebratory use of the facilities available at the nearest brothel with considerable enthusiasm.


    Expensive Pee

    Arbitrarily adding vitamins to drinks and foods is increasing our risk of overdose, adverse side-effects and toxic damage. Drug store (pharmacy etc.) advertising piles of vitamins can be very dangerous to your health. The great thing for them is: the more we take of excessive additives, the more feel bad, the more we think that more additives will help us, the more we buy. Whole foods with minimal processing is best. Avoid added sugar, avoid artificial sweeteners.

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