Cactus water, boxed water and raw water are just a few of the weird water trends we’ve seen lately that left us wondering what's wrong with just plain ol’ H20. Most of these alternative water brands claim to revitalize your skin, be beneficial for the environment and contain healthy gut probiotics, but regardless, they beg the question: How are you supposed to know if it’s actually working?
Douglas Bevans had similar doubts in mind when he attended the Car Free Day Festival in Vancouver, Canada with his latest trendy idea in health beverages: hot dog water.
As the self-proclaimed CEO of Hot Dog Water, Bevans sold real, “homemade” hot dog water for 38 Canadian dollars per bottle (that’s around $28 USD) during the festival, and people drank the unfiltered beverage out of glass bottles, in which actual hot dogs floated inside.
Here are some dutiful employees, brewing hot dog water as if it’s a totally normal thing to do:
Bevans advertised the water as gluten-free, keto-friendly and rich in sodium -- the latter reason fairly true, yet not an actual health benefit if you think about it.
Despite being “rich in sodium,” the mystery meat-flavored water was also supposed to “help restore the body’s homeostasis after an electrolyte imbalance” and help you “lose weight, increase brain function, look younger and increase vitality.”
“We’ve created a recipe, having a lot of people put a lot of effort into research and a lot of people with backgrounds in science really creating the best version of Hot Dog Water that we could," Bevans said.
The company also sells lip balm, breath-spray and body fragrance -- you know, for all of you interested in smelling like tube-shaped meat.
If this all sounds like one giant joke, that’s because it is.
Bevans is not just another Silicon Valley wannabe inventor -- he’s actually an artist and tour operator who fantasized about being a snake oil salesman, or someone who preaches miracle cure-alls to otherwise unassuming folk, as a commentary on false product marketing.
On the Hot Dog Water label itself, after a garbled, esoteric story about the waters’ origins in a 50,000-year-old lava rock-filtered spring, the fine print states, “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.” Bevans’ goal was for consumers to walk away from the booth and consider some of the products they’ve previously purchased that have no real scientific basis at all (ahem, all Goop fanatics out there).
He told Ad Age, “The message is, the next time you have the urge to buy the latest quantum toilet paper or Gwyneth’s magical health stickers, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself, ‘Is this Hot Dog Water?’”
Bevans spent $1,200 on bottles, labels and branding materials, but strangely enough, it sounds like he made most of that money back.
“They’ve been drinking it for hours,” Bevans said during the festival. “We have gone through about 60 liters of real hot dog water.”
Additionally, the artist noticed that "some people were rubbing the [hot dog] lip balm on their crow’s feet and they were swearing their crow’s feet were disappearing before their eyes.”
One man rubbed hot dog lip balm on his balding head, and sent Bevans photos proposing the balm stimulated hair growth.
Others were simply confused as to whether Bevans’ product was real or fake:
So, the next time someone swears that smearing mustard all over your body will get rid of cellulite, think twice.