Garfield's AdReview

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You can't help but root for a gargantuan multinational company that markets its bottled water by warning that competing waters may be contaminated with fake-bear filth.

Very funny. Very post-modern. Ursine of the times, you might say.

So, before we commence to establishing the Dasini campaign's glaring and potentially fatal flaws, we can at least spend a moment savoring its many charms-starting with the man dressed in the bear suit. To the arch oompah of a background tuba in the first of four spots from Anomaly, New York, the guy saunters out of a cave swigging a bottle of Dasani.

"Ahhh, wooo!" he says with relief and satisfaction. "You can't believe the dry-mouth you get from three months of hibernation.

"The whole natural mountain stream thing? [a slashing-pan flashback to him shaking water and animal grime off his fur back into the stream] It's fine. But this [brandishing the Dasani bottle], it tastes crisp, fresh. I don't know what the zoological term for mwipp appip [the sounds of dry-mouth] is exactly, but a sip of this will clear it right up."

In another spot, a guy in a dog suit walks into the house and, after randomly sniffing, explains why he eschews his water dish for Dasani. "It'll knock the taste of tennis ball right out of your yap." And in another, a female fitness freak who happens to be dressed as a hamster says she does "a lot of yoga and sculpting and tons of cardio." This time the flashback pan catches her on a giant hamster wheel. That's a laugh-out-loud moment, take our word.

Look, people dressed up as animals are funny. People dressed up as animals making no particular effort to behave like animals are even funnier. Irritable and deadpan people dressed up like animals (or, as the advertising annals prove, Orangina bottles or orders of large McDonald's fries) are often absolutely hilarious. These spots are absolutely hilarious.

Moreover, as we said, they make us want to like Dasani, which is one of the things that advertising is supposed to do. The problem here, though, stems from the other thing advertising is supposed to make us do-namely, to think about how the advertised product might fit into our lives. Here's where the Coca-Cola Co. takes a two-pronged positioning, both prongs of which more or less poke us in the eye.

First, water is refreshing?

Duhhhh. Now, sometimes pointing out the obvious is a stroke of genius. Sometimes it's a waste of time. Sometimes-as in this case-it's actually counterproductive. If you sell bottled water as a thirst-quencher, you're not only not offering any news, you are reminding the audience that you are nothing special.

This gets to Dasani's bizarre subpositioning: it's superior because it isn't from some "natural mountain stream." This intends to introduce an element of consumer doubt as to just what's in those streams, but more likely the opposite will take place. Viewers will wonder where, then, does Dasani's water come from?

A big industrial tap?

Truthfully, we're stumped on this one. It could go either way. Because some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.

Review 2.5 stars

Ad: Dasani

Agency: Anomaly

Location: New York

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