The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Brands With Tickets On Themselves …

I’ve written about San Pellegrino before.

I talked about their mental joint promotion with Bvlgari.

And the with Vogue.

I talked about how a brand I previously enjoyed was in danger of alienating me with it’s wanker associations.

To be honest, it’s less about who they partner with and more about how they present that partnership … screaming it out, showing their desperation rather than cool.

Well recently I saw something else …

To be honest it’s something I’ve seen for ages but maybe, because I was in Malibu, it seemed even more ridiculous despite the fact it kind-of fitted-in with all the other ridiculous folks that were there … prancing around in their designer gear despite the fact they were in a little park for little kids.

What am I going on about?

This …

Or more specifically, this …

Lets put aside the fact this is a can of soda wearing a little hat – A. LITTLE. HAT. – and focus on them creating an app that they want you to download before drinking their overpriced flavoured water.

What the hell?

Seriously, how pretentious, egotistical and up-yourself can they be?

Even the millionaire kids on instagram – with their turned up collars and turned down shades can’t pull all that off so successfully at once.

Seriously San Pellegrino, get your shit together.

You seem to have forgotten being classy and sophisticated is different to acting like Kim Kardashian.

I know Italians are capable of some alarming lack of taste, but this might be a step too far.

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20 Comments so far
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I’m glad you are focusing on the big issues Rob, rather than that small, over hyped stuff like terrorism, poverty and unemployment. Can’t wait for your post on the lack of fast food options in the US.

Comment by DH

Hey, if Fox News can do it, so can I.

Comment by Rob

Good job you’re so sophisticated so you can call SP a Kardashian without looking a hypocrite.

Comment by DH

kims butt implants are more sophisticated than nottingham boy.

Comment by andy@cynic

that piece of foil must be made of fucking gold with the premium those fuckers charge for flavoured sugar water.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have no ties to San Pellegrino, but in fairness to them, may I offer an alternative view on a couple of points?

On the price, Italian bottled water of any stripe is indeed quite expensive outside of Italy, even in other EU states. Part of that, I assume is linked to distribution costs (both transport and distribution channel margins). I also assume that part of it is positioning as an upmarket product. However, in fairness, domestic retail prices in Italy are very low. SP are admittedly one of the more expensive ones, but they come out lower than those of French, Belgian or British brands in their respective home markets. Since the brand cannot dictate retail pricing, the SP prices found in Italy tend to be all over the place, depending on the retailer, but even at one’s local corner shop, the prices do not reach ‘pretentious’ levels. If the seller is pushing the limits of price elasticity in the US, that’s as much to do with the buyers as distributors.

On the little hat, I think it’s a brilliant idea in terms of hygiene. Needless to say, it won’t get in the way of willful contamination, but it is useful against incidental ones resulting from transport, storage and shop floor. Many will not even think of drinking straight out of the can, but even then, I think it serves a useful function. Furthermore, it accomplishes the task in an attractive way. Of course, it’s relevant only if one cares. Otherwise, it might seem superfluous at best.

I have nothing to say about the message on the hat because I haven’t a clue what they are on about. The first thing that came to mind was sex, but I fear that’s not what’s being offered.

On balance, I think they do have their shit together.

By the way, best wishes to you and yours in LA.

Comment by Chikashi

you should go and work for san pellegrino.
or sorrell. hed like that blind fucking dollar making shit too.

Comment by andy@cynic

then you say you fear theyre not offering sex with their bullshit game and i dont know if that makes me like you or be fucking frightened of you.

Comment by andy@cynic

the latter.

Comment by Chikashi

I get the differentiation value and even the hygiene factor (especially important in markets like Asia) but for a natural product brand, doesn’t the hat represent additional and unnecessary environmental waste?

Comment by Pete

Yes, but only if consumed. I say that with tongue in cheek, sort of. Prior to consumption, with respect to environmental impact, should we question the export of such things as water to another country that has domestic sources? Getting off tangent here, but I often wonder why we have green beans flown from Kenya sold in Belgian supermarkets. I realise that agriculture is one of the few things that gives the African continent some sustainble, economic hope, but like you, I question whether it ends up causing unnecessary waste or if the benefits outweigh the costs. To answer your question, I don’t know.

Comment by Chikashi

Yes, we should question that.

Comment by Pete

Interesting point Peter.

Comment by Lee Hill

Hello Chikashi – all fair points – but I don’t agree with all of them. While San Pellegrino definitely incurs importation costs, I know for a fact this is not what has influenced their price point.

They have pitched themselves as a premium brand and that has ultimately influenced their price point and little hat acts. While the ‘hat’ does have some more functional benefits [ie: hygiene], I feel it’s far more for differentiation and premium reasons than anything more ‘user beneficial’.

Of course, then using the hat as a tool to promote a rather bad mobile game ends up cheapening everything – but at this point, I’m sure they don’t give a shit.

Comment by Rob

No doubt they are pitching themselves as a premium brand, even in their home market, where the hat is also used. I agree that the message on the hat is bemusing and undermines everything else that they have set out to do. On that count, I agree entirely that they do need to get their shit together.

Comment by Chikashi

It’s far more likely the ‘little hat’ is nothing more than a good, old-fashioned ‘promo’ sticker. Slapping those on is a much cheaper option than reprinting the can.

Comment by Ian Gee


Even I am weirded out by this. And it takes a lot to weird me out.

Comment by Rob

Blimey I feel honoured, and shocked you haven’t got Birkenstock furniture for the new house

Comment by northern

certainly this is something Orangina would never do…

Comment by BoldandBusy




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