Bot “Flying”

With all due respect to “good,” it’s not as entertaining as “bad.” So, a campaign for a vitamin-fortified water named Bot emphasizes that the product is good (free of sweeteners, preservatives, etc.) by contrasting it with various things that are bad. In so doing, print ads and in-theater movie shorts by TDA Advertising & Design of Boulder, Colo., take a theme line that could sound utterly banal — “Bot is good” — and give it a distinctively quirky feel.

The campaign’s video component shows bad things happening to three animated characters who look like delinquent cousins of the Teletubbies. In the vignette shown here, one character whirls his rabbit-like ears to carry himself aloft as if he were a helicopter. This prompts the purple character to blow into the orange character’s ear, thus inflating him like a balloon and carrying the two of them skyward, too. As bad luck would have it, though, they collide with the rabbit-like character, whose whirling ears puncture and deflate the orange character. He and his purple passenger crash to the ground, where they look more dead than alive.

It’s an atypically dark approach for a product whose target users are kids.

But this makes it a shrewd way of addressing parents (the target purchasers) who’ve had their fill of the sugary tone that often attends kid-oriented brands. The campaign also distinguishes Bot from the pack by so conspicuously eschewing the prissy, wimpy aura that tends to accompany health-oriented products. For adults who want to feel that parenthood hasn’t left them hopelessly domesticated, the campaign’s aura of hip weirdness will be all to the good. –Mark Dolliver