I recently came across this article about the launch of Nestlé Waters first ever marketing campaign targeting Hispanics. The campaign includes an endorsement deal with Cristina, TV spots on Univision, spot radio in major Hispanic markets, print advertising (print lives!) a consumer contest and in-store hoopla.
The best thing about all of this is that the ads feature Cristina talking about health topics, including the risks associated with obesity and diabetes. The campaign was created by the fine folks at Castells & Asociados.
Obviously there are a lot of ways to sell bottled water and I applaud Nestlé and Castells for using their marketing muscle to get behind reducing obesity and diabetes in the Hispanic community. This is a cause which I cannot endorse more strongly.
In 2005, one in four U.S. Hispanic adults was obese (not just overweight). But what’s most alarming is the trend with children. One in six Hispanic high school students is overweight and 24% of Mexican-American children aged 6 to 11 are overweight, compared to 20% for African American kids and 12% for non-Hispanic whites. It’s well known that obesity can lead to higher insulin levels and type 2 diabetes as well as other health problems like asthma, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
There are factors that contribute to this situation, including genetics, that cannot be controlled. But two major factors that we can impact are exercise and nutrition. Any effort to get kids and their parents to dump the soda and other high calorie, low nutritional value foods, should be supported. Everyone can benefit from drinking more water and from using water as a substitute for high calorie beverages.
But here’s the rub. If you’ve been paying attention, bottled water producers are bottling and selling a product we don’t really need (tap water works just fine) and creating a nasty, land-filling byproduct in the form of plastic bottles that live forever.
So what’s a health conscious enviro-wannabe like yours-truly to do? I’d gladly give Nestlé my frequently sought, yet seldom given, stamp of approval if: Nestlé also educated its consumers on the need to recycle those ugly little plastic bottles and better yet, provided an incentive for them to do so.
After that, I’d hope that folks would get tired of expensive bottled water and turn to taps, filters and reusable bottles. But one step at a time.