Issues of "truth in advertising" play into the latest Tappening campaign by DiMassimo Goldstein here.
The effort is designed to encourage consumers to drink tap water whenever possible and communicate the message that bottled water consumption is unnecessarily wasteful and harmful to the environment.
Tappening's last major surge took place a year ago, when the group released politically themed ads as the U.S. presidential race heated up.
This current campaign takes a new direction, poking fun at advertising itself and offering outrageous "lies" about bottled water to make its key points. However, unlike bottled water purveyors that might use pristine mountain streams and other such idyllic imagery in ads selling glorified tap water, Tappening discloses that its new ads contain false assertions.
"We're not just admitting it up front, we're bragging about it. We want people to know we're blatantly lying in our new campaign, and, most importantly, that everyone should pay close attention to what's factual in marketing and what's -- not so much," explained Tappening partner Eric Yaverbaum.
Added Mark DiMassimo, Tappening co-founder and head of ad shop DiMassimo Goldstein: "We've spent these two years using our marketing and public relations abilities to un-sell bottled-water hype. But I still see cascading waterfalls on labels that do not list the source of that water."
The campaign, largely viral in nature, includes a Web site that allow users to share their own water-related lies and view four Tappening ads with headlines like, "Bottled Water Makes Acid Rain Fall on Playgrounds" and "Bottled Water Causes Blindness in Puppies."
With a modest campaign budget of $535,000, Tappening is banking on the power of the Internet and social media to spread the word, and estimates that 100,000-plus downloadable viral ads will be launched within the push's initial 24 hours.
Other elements include wild postings in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas.
Nielsen Business Media