One of Brogan’s early clients (back in the ‘80s when we were still Brogan Kabot) was Mountain Valley Spring Water. Bottled water wasn’t such an easy sell in the ‘80s; the prevailing thought was, why pay for water when you can turn on the tap? Mountain Valley’s differentiator was the spring: their water came from a natural spring in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and they’d been bottling and selling it since 1871 (they still do). With 153 distributors, Mountain Valley was doing well. But we helped them really pour it on . . . so to speak.
Brogan created image and retail print, sales materials and some broadcast advertising. As with many of Brogan’s early clients, the budget was small. In print ads, the visual was almost invariably a black-and-white photo of the product. And since water is not much to look at, we had to rely on headlines. Touting the ancient spring, one ad proclaimed, “The freshest water you can buy is 3500 years old.” To combat consumers’ reluctance to pay for something they could get for free, Brogan conceived the themeline, “The only water worth paying for.”
Sales went up. In fact, they went up enough to make the company interesting to a large conglomerate, which bought all of Mountain Valley’s liquid assets. Unfortunately, the conglomerate had its own stable of large ad agencies, and left Brogan high and dry. But that’s all water under the bridge.
Do you remember when buying water was only for health nuts? What other everyday products can you think of that once seemed like luxuries?
To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series: Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.