Unique Selling Point – Can’t Find One? Make One.

Conceiving a unique selling point in the 21st century is tough, especially in a field as mind-numbingly generic as the bottled water market. It’s a lucrative one – after all, we have to drink two litres of the stuff daily to perform at our peak. And that’s exactly what French company Vittel kept in mind when generating a unique selling point for their H2O.

Vittel commissioned advertising gurus Ogilvy & Mather to come up with something that would have them head and shoulders above the pack. They might have been expecting a great campaign, which is O & M’s bread and butter. What Vittel got was a remarkably simple unique selling point that no one else had.

Vittel created their own unique selling point

Vittel and Ogilvy & Mather found that only 20% of the French population reached that oh so elusive two litre mark. The solution? Make drinking the right amount of water easier and more enjoyable. Ogilvy & Mather designed a bottle cap that when screwed on tight, sets a one hour timer. Once 60 minutes is up, a flag pops out of the cap, reminding the consumer to, well, consume!

Vittel could have settled for an ad campaign that promoted the pristine location of their water source or the divine minerals in their H2O. But that would’ve been positioning their water as something more… watery than the rest. By giving consumers something they never knew they wanted – a water bottle with an alarm – Vittel have something far more powerful.

In reality, this is a fantastic execution of advertising 101 – inventing a need for the consumer. We see it thousands of times a day. “You need the latest processor in your smartphone”, “you need a foundation with more coverage”, “you need a bike with four more gears”… But Ogilvy & Mather didn’t really invent a need – they simply made consumers aware of a fact relating to their health, and provided a solution right there on their client’s product. If a Vittel consumer were to purchase another product, they would miss the alarm cap.

Sure – any water will fill up your tank, but as far as prospective buyers are concerned, only Vittel’s will actively help you get there. That’s a killer unique selling point!

– Magnus

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