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People bought $38 'hot dog water' said to support weight loss — and they were in for a rude awakening

INSIDER logoINSIDER 6/21/2018 feedback@thisisinsider.com (Katie Warren)


Health and dieting fads are nothing new. From "appetite suppressant" lollipops to the "snake diet," it seems people will try virtually anything that promises relatively easy weight loss. The latest weird dieting product? Hot dog water.

People in Vancouver reportedly paid $38 for bottles of unfiltered "hot dog water" said to support weight loss, increase brain function, and give a more youthful appearance, Yahoo News reported.

This booth that sells unfiltered hot dog water is hands down the strangest thing at Car-Free day, and I have no idea - literally none - as to whether it is real or an elaborate stunt pic.twitter.com/NK2KcTfnHm

The "hot dog water" was sold at a stall at a Car-Free Day festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, over the weekend — and some people did indeed drink it, according to Yahoo. 

But many missed the fact that the product was a stunt — and that the creator was trying to prove a point about misleading health marketing

The creator joked that the water was created by 'a lot of people with backgrounds in science.'

"We've created a recipe, having a lot of people put a lot of effort into research and a lot of people with backgrounds in science really creating the best version of Hot Dog Water that we could," self-styled Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans told Global News.

"So the protein of the Hot Dog Water helps your body uptake the water content, and the sodium and all the things you'd need post-workout," Bevans added.

The marketing materials for the drink also promised it to be gluten-free and rich in sodium and electrolytes.

"Hot Dog Water is the NEW coconut water!" read one apparent testimonial from Dr. Cynthia Dringus, "Nobel Prize-winning nutritionist."

The stall sold each bottle of the water for $37.99, or a Father's Day special of two-for-$75, according to Global News. Hot Dog Water lip balm, breath spray, and body fragrance were also available.

The creator later revealed that Hot Dog Water was a stunt to encourage people to think critically about health products.

Unfortunately for the hopefuls, Hot Dog Water is in fact too good to be true.

Although he might have convinced some people, the creator of Hot Dog Water was actually trying to prove a point about fad health trends. 

If someone looked closely at the fine print of the of the product's sales pitch, they would see the following message:

"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 wanted the product to be a commentary on what he called the "snake oil salesmen" of health marketing.

"It's really sort of a commentary on product marketing, and especially sort of health-quackery product marketing," Bevans, a tour operator and artist, told Global News. 

"From the responses, I think people will actually go away and reconsider some of these other $80 bottles of water that will come out that are 'raw' or 'smart waters,' or anything that doesn’t have any substantial scientific backing but just a lot of pretty impressive marketing," he added.

Bevans reportedly spent $1,200 of his own money on bottles, labels, branding, and other costs for the project.

According to Bevans, people were either very confused by hot dog water or they immediately understood the joke. But some people actually bought it.

"They've been drinking it for hours," he said. "We have gone through about 60 liters of real hot dog water."

Slideshow: The 50 biggest diet and exercise fads of the past century (Provided by Cheapism) 

MAYBE THIS ONE WILL ACTUALLY WORK: Americans have always had an insatiable appetite for diet and exercise programs. From gadgets and videos to shakes and meal plans, most come and go, while others refuse to die. Here are some of the most memorable fitness crazes and fad diets that have tempted consumers over the years. The 50 Biggest Diet and Exercise Fads of the Past Century


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