OK, I admit it. Sometimes those advertisements promising immediate hair growth catch my eye. I don't think it's so unreasonable. Take a look at my photo. What middle aged man wouldn't want a full head of hair like he had when he was twenty? But then reality sets in. Of course, these things don't work as promised, right? And besides, the abuse I would receive at the hands of my family if this stuff did work and hair began to sprout in odd places on my head would be merciless. Oh well.
But apparently, many men don't move on from those commercials like I do. The hair growth industry is a $2.8 billion industry and...c'mon...does it really work as promised? Maybe for some. But there are plenty of stories about how these products don't do all that they say and many customers walk away disappointed, and a little poorer from the experience.
Which brings me to hot dog water.
Hot dog water? According to one entrepreneur, the filtered water - sold in a bottle with an accompanying hot dog inside - leads to increased brain function, weight loss and a youthful appearance. Not only that, but it's gluten-free and - get this - applying it to your face in the form of a lip balm (sold separately) will eliminate your crow's feet wrinkles. You can even purchase a Hot Dog Water breath spray and body fragrance too. Who needs hair when you can improve your appearance with some hot dog water, right?
Well, not really. But, according to this report in CTV News, that didn't stop Douglas Bevans from selling 60 bottles of the stuff at approximately $38 a pop to customers at a recent festival near Vancouver.
Bevans is a performance artist. And he's grown tired of false advertising claims, slick marketing campaigns and celebrity pitches on social media that dupe people into buying products - especially health products - that don't live up to their promises.
So to make a point, he declared himself the CEO of the non-existent Hot Dog Water Company and began talking about the science behind the stuff. "Because Hot Dog Water and perspiration resemble each other, when you drink Hot Dog Water it bypasses the lymphatic system, whereas other waters have to go through your filtering system," he told potential customers. "So really, Hot Dog Water has three times as much uptake as coconut water."
It sounds great. Except it's complete nonsense - and he knows it. He even printed a message on the bottles warning buyers that "'Hot Dog Water in its absurdity hopes to encourage critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it can play in our purchasing choices."
Bevans' stunt is aimed at helping people put more thought into their buying decisions and making more informed purchases. To him, it's all part of his performance art. "Art, I think, has a way of doing this better than if this was a public service announcement. There's an image attached to it, that it's ridiculous."
By the way. I believe he kept the cash. Consider it a lesson. And besides, even artists need to eat - and this is one artist-entrepreneur who will probably never starve.