Vita Coco takes on haters in new campaign, then posts a pee photo on social media

'Impossible to Hate' effort from Interesting Development quickly took a strange turn

Published On
May 16, 2019

Editor's Pick

Vita Coco is taking on the haters in a new campaign for its newest offering called Pressed Coconut Water. The brand says it developed an algorithm to find the most negative product reviewers on sites like Yelp, Amazon and TripAdvisor. Some of the reviewers appear in new videos for Vita Coco in which they give understated endorsements for the brand. One of them, identified as “shelliza906,” deadpans that “I would drink this, if someone gave it to me.” The new Pressed product is marketed as “the first coconut water that tastes like coconut.” The agency behind the effort is Interesting Development. A brand spokeswoman said the people appearing in the ads were paid for their time, “but the opinions are all their own.”

Soon after the debut, a Twitter pissing match ensued between the brand and one of its haters, Tony Posnanski, a self-identified “amateur MMA fighter” with a verified Twitter account.

Vita Coco tweeted back at him, encouraging him to try its variety. He responded that “I would rather drink your social media persons piss than coconut water.” [sic]

The brand, amazingly, took the bait, tweeting him a picture of a woman holding what appears to be a jar of urine in a container labeled Vita Coco.

Not only that, but Vita Coco pinned the tweet, for all the world to see.

Ad Age reached out to a brand spokeswoman for an explanation, who in an email responded that “simply put, Tony dared to hate—without actually trying Pressed.”

Was it all a stunt? We asked the spokeswoman if Posnanski was paid. She replied, “No, completely organic.”

Subsequently, Vita Coco Brand Director Allison Finazzo, brand director at Vita Coco spoke to Ad Age about the tweet, and the risks of the brand from now on being associated with pee. "Vita Coco does not taste like urine–we can prove that," she said. "We’re a brand, we’re trying to sell a product and we’re trying to have fun while doing it."

Credits

Date
May 16, 2019
Client:
Vita Coco
Agency:
Interesting Development
Production Company:
m ss ng p eces
Director:
Nick & Charles
Chief Marketing Officer:
Jane Prior
Brand Director:
Allison Finazzo
Brand Community Manager:
Brian Vieira
Community Coordinator:
Lane Rawlings
Brand Experience Manager:
Daniella Labat
Head of Creative:
Paul Caiozzo
Head of Brand Voice:
Nathan Frank
CEO:
Tamera Geddes
Group Account Director:
Shannon Coletti
Head of Strategy:
Tom Haslow
Executive Producer:
Mai Huynh
Senior Producer:
Sherri Hollander
Creative Director:
Johan Leandersson
Creative Director:
Conor Dooley
Art Director:
Ira Oksman
Writer:
Prit Patel
Sr. Creative Producer:
Jonno Durant
Technology Consultant:
Superfriends
Post Production:
Beast
Editor:
Dan Maloney
Producer:
Michael Beltrame
Executive Producer:
Melissa Lubin
Conform:
Scott Bravo
Endcard Graphics:
Christian Matts
Intro Graphics:
Laundry

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