October 6, 2005
Neau: A Novel Product Name and Product Idea
Neau (pronounced "no" in English) is the new Dutch anti-brand, and its target is the bloated bottled water industry. People worldwide drink over 89 billion litres of bottled water per year.
Bottled water is and has been the fasted growing segment of the beverage market, with various brands making more and more outlandish claims.
However, Neau reminds customers that water is still just water and no amount of fancy packaging is going to change that, whether we're talking about the eighties yuppie brands such as Perrier or Evian, which were famously and falsely accused of referring to their customers as 'naïve,' or the newer brands such as Pepsi's Aquafina or Coke's Dasani, which were recently exposed as being just regular old tap water. I have to admit, I am a daily user of bottled water.
Neau takes its cues from Big Red, and offers Dutch customers - wait for this - a plain old empty bottle that they fill from the faucet themselves. Revenues from the campaign are sent to third world water projects where clean water and expensive boutique water brands are not so common.
By drinking Neau, you and I not only poke fun at our friends quaffing so-called "pure" mineral waters from often fictional, and downright contaminated underground springs - we are also helping the poor.
The product name, which only co-incidentally looks like the French word 'l'eau', which means 'water', allows the company to use slogans like "Take Neau for an answer" and "Neau thirst". Customers who buy Neau water coolers get 25 Neau bottles they can keep on their desks to display their social responsibility.
Sounds cool to me!
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