The title is heavy sarcasm in case you couldn’t pick up on it.
Fiji water is actually bottled in Fiji. This surprises people. The water comes from Fiji and is shipped around the world. Some people thought it came from Cleveland. Water testers from Cleveland tested their water compared to Fiji water that came in the bottle.
Cleveland had better water quality in their public tap water than the water in the Fiji bottle. But the water is pure, straight from nature in Fiji! Well yeah it might be, but the tap water in the US is more heavily regulated than bottled water.
I can’t even be sarcastic anymore. Watching Fiji’s commercials after thinking more critically about them have me laughing. Let’s take for example the one titled Nature’s Gift. To take a direct quote from the ad itself:
“Fiji water is a gift from nature to us, to repay our gift of leaving it completely alone”
Now this could be a double meaning. After this it talks about how they didn’t touch the water itself so it is “directly from nature” implying that it is better for you since it is natural. This would make sense if it was only the audio of the ad being played. Adding the images afterward blurs this meaning slightly. A Fiji bottle contains the standard, glorified images of a tropical paradise while outside the bottle is the usual concrete jungle. Pairing the images with the audio gives an image that Fiji water is green and pure compared to everything else in the environment that is man-made and unnatural. It even has a moment where a helicopter crosses into the Fiji bottle and becomes a butterfly. Another ad with a similar structure titled Deep Below does a similar thing where a plastic bag becomes a butterfly.
I was inspired to go back and watch some ads after seeing the ones in class. I remembered how bottled water is always sold as this natural, pure, whimsical experience. Some will look at this ad and it might get a chuckle, others won’t care. All that matters is the bottom line. So what you have to ship water in from Fiji? People will buy it just for reasons of status or because it “tastes better than the other stuff”. In all honesty I couldn’t care less where my water came from so long as it is purified and safe to drink.
- Josh Obermeyer