Mad Men fans might remember the episode in which Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton asks Don Draper for his opinion on an ad campaign he’s created featuring a friendly cartoon mouse.
"I don’t think anyone wants to think about a mouse in a hotel," quips Draper.
The fictional ad man’s advice came to mind this week when Vita Coco tweeted a picture of a staffer holding a jar of pee emblazoned with the brand’s logo. That is how the brand decided to reply to Twitter troll Tony Posnanski, who had tweeted that he would rather "drink [Vita Coco’s] social media person’s piss than coconut water."
Taking a leaf out of Draper’s book: I don’t think anyone wants to think about urine when they are hydrating.
Internet users don’t appear to share my opinion, however. Vita Coco’s shocking post has amassed support from Twitter queen Chrissy Teigen as well as a number of others on social media. And in a poll PRWeek is running, 70% of respondents think the brand’s response is "amazing."
Another thing to consider is that most people don’t regularly drink coconut water. The popularity of coconut water has grown massively in the past few years, but it still has a long way to go to become a household item. That’s not to say I would be OK with an established brand such as Coca-Cola pulling a stunt like this either. I may be in the minority here, but I believe that beverage companies, as a general rule, should stay away from potty humor.
Once the initial laughter subsides, though, won’t Vita Coco always be known as the "pee jar" brand?
A tweet that was meant to be funny may have forever tarnished the brand and the image of coconut water in general, at least for me. I know I will not be drinking the stuff until I can get the association out of my head.