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Octopus TV Failure Awards ® – Friday 13th evian Water Bra by Andrew Eborn

Octopus TV Failure Awards ® – evian Water Bra by Andrew Eborn

In this award-winning weekly series renowned international lawyer, strategist, futurist, producer, brand adviser, broadcaster and inspirational speaker, Andrew Eborn, President of Octopus TV and Knot The Truth and Founder of the Octopus TV Failure Awards, shines a light on the products and services, brand extensions and campaigns that failed to take off and have as a result earned entry into The Octopus TV Failure Awards.

As Andrew Eborn points out “we always celebrate success whilst hiding the failures that led to that success. The Octopus TV Failure Awards finally give failure the attention it deserves.”

Andrew Eborn: “If necessity is the mother of invention then failure is the father of success”

“From failed products and services to campaigns and ads we would rather forget, I want to encourage organisations and brands to be better at learning from failures not just ignoring them and pretending they never happened.”

Andrew is in high demand as a presenter, mentalist, magician and speaker around the world.

Thank you for all of your nominations so far. Keep ‘em coming!

Send your nominations now together with full description and images to


In the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8th March here at The Octopus TV Failure Awards we have been exploring gender specific products.

We munched our lunch without a crunch with our Lady Doritos writing this column with our Bic for Her pen whilst frolicking with unicorns in fields of lavender …


On November 19thit will be international men’s day. It will mark the 10th year I have helped raise both money and awareness by letting my facial hair grow for Movember. – so much harder than climbing Kilimanjaro, swimming the Channel or bungee jumping in Bognor..

Through your generosity several thousands of pounds have been raised. I normally start the New Year clean shaven but this year I kept the bristles until 31st January to tie in with our departure from EU- Brexit the Bristles as we said I’d love to stay and chat but moustache ….

From hair raising events to hair raising products …


It is wonderful when a company can capitalise on the strength of its brand by branching out into different product area.

As we have seen, however, The Octopus TV Failure Awards is populated with products which are a brand extension too far - especially where products are introduced which are inconsistent with brand values and customer expectations.

We have had a ring side seat to witness Colgate’s failed foray into food with its Colgate Dinner Entrees – Try Colgate Lasagne for that fresh minty taste - and Harley Davidson causing a stink with its eau de toilette – who wants to smell like hairy bikers getting their kicks on Route 66?? #HogWash .

Watch out for Harley Davidson shampoo for especially greasy hair !

… and so it is with this week’s Octopus TV Failure Awards nominee with what several report to have been evian’s faux pas (f’eau pas ! - Geddit ? Got It? Good !!)….


Legend has it that evian natural spring water was discovered in 1789 when a local nobleman, The Marquis de Lessert, was out for a walk and drank from a local spring on the land owned by Monsieur Cachat.

As evian points out "The Marquis loved the ‘light and easily drinkable’ taste and decided to drink the water regularly."

From eau dear to dear eau !

Word spread leading to the entrepreneurial Monsieur Cachat fencing off his spring and selling bottles of this special water to the local community.

Nowadays, Monsieur Cachat would no doubt also be selling masks, sanitiser gel and loo rolls....

Stock up on loo rolls before some idiot panic buys them all!

Speaking of which, it’s amazing to see how Facebook friends who were constitutional experts a few weeks ago are now infectious disease experts …Hmmm

Anyway, back to evian..

In 1806, the first evian thermal spa opened and in 1826 the first bottling facility.

The town became a fashionable destination attracting visitors from all around France and beyond.

In 1865 there was a decree authorizing the town to be renamed Evian-les-Bains.

Ever since, evian natural spring water has become "an icon of health"

As evian proudly boasts, today it is the #1 premium spring water worldwide* sold in 143 different countries!

“evian water starts as rain and snow in the peaks of the French Alps which is then deposited on our watershed, a unique geological landscape surrounded by mountains and glaciers. evian water travels on a 15 year journey to the source through layers of glacial rocks which naturally protect the water from outside pollution and enrich it with naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals, which provide the distinctive, crisp taste.”.

Ever wondered why water which has been on the earth for zillions of years needs a best before date??

As evian proudly states "evian natural spring water is a product of nature. We never add things for taste or enhance with extras." It is interesting therefore that several claim that evian nevertheless produced a product to enhance.... Throughout its rich history evian has had many water cooler moments from brilliant baby ads

to its support of sports from tennis to golf to handball.

But one time its support may have gone too far ….with the evian water bra

H2 Oh Oh Oh !!!!

So, what is a water bra and why would you want one?

According to water bra was introduced in 2000.

The site goes on to outline benefits of owning a water bra including:

It lifts your breasts. Water bras enhance the shape and size of your boobs.

“The cherry (insert appropriate emoji !) on top an accentuated cleavage.”

It has a seamless appearance

It is very comfortable to wear - water bras are more comfortable than other bras. This padding has the ability to form and adjust to the natural size of your breasts. Natural Look - Other padded bras are made of latex or other harder material which does not conform to the shape of a woman’s chest. On the other hand, water bras feel more natural than other kinds of padded bras because they move with the wearer. This type of bra also lifts and separates the chest, so it looks more natural.


According to various sources, in 2005 evian decided to diversify by manufacturing its own support brassiere that could be filled with water. .

If you are going to have a product filled with water that water should be the best!

“Fancy bottled water and ... bras? That's Evian for you.

Apparently targeting women who need help keeping their breasts cool and carrying around their mineral water, Evian designed this bra, complete with a pouch to carry a water bottle.” claims

“The garment’s primary purpose was to offer women a cooler alternative to traditional bras during hotter months. It also featured a small pouch that could hold a bottle of mineral water.”

“.. in 2005, Evian a brand renowned for mineral water decided that people didn’t have enough problems they were carrying around already, so they thought a few millilitres of water in their bras wouldn’t be too much load, besides, it would help them cool off. Well, there are a number of reasons why this idea is so weird and would naturally make a lot of people uncomfortable, and of course, mean the failure of the product.”

Faux Pas /F’eau pas or click bait?

Whilst there may be advantages in having a water bra there seems to be little advantage in filling that water bra with evian as opposed to tap water… I decided to dig deeper….


The Octopus TV Failure Awards is populated with wonderfully bizarre products.

Just as in real life, in the world of bizarre products it is often difficult to separate fact from fake.


Just when we dismiss one product as an April Fool’s gag a company releases a similar bizarre product.

Fact is indeed stranger than fiction.

WD40 perfume – FAKE

Harley Davidson eau de toilette – FACT





Harry Harris quoted me in his piece for Prospect “What a viral fake lasagne taught me about failure”

Marketing outlet The Drum was more sceptical than most about the lasagne, although that didn’t stop them writing about it for their own Failure Awards column from Andrew Eborn. Referring to the frozen food range by a different title, Colgate Kitchen Entrees, claiming it was launched in 1982, he notes that they “do not feature in Colgate’s summary of its impressive 200-year history,” asking: “Is Colgate too embarrassed by its fanciful foray into food or is this perhaps just another fake news story which has managed to fool the media and marketing industry for years?” However, he does claim that Colgate did want to enter the frozen food market, referring to “a number of sources.”

Certainly, several sources claim that Colgate did indeed launch Kitchen Entrees and also refer to the date being 1982 see for example:

“Colgate launched Colgate Kitchen Entrees, a line of frozen food products, in US in 1982”

“The frozen food market was already pretty saturated when these dinners were released in 1982, and when people think of Colgate they tend to think of clean teeth, not frozen Swedish meatballs.”

pointed out, however, “when I took a closer look at the story I couldn't find any primary sources from 1982 about it. But there are several 1960s-era sources (Washington Food Report, Weekly Digest) that refer to Colgate having test-marketed a line of frozen dinners in Madison, Wisconsin in 1964.”

Harry Harris contacted Thomas DiPiazza, Director of Corporate Communications for Colgate-Palmolive. DiPiazza ( great name for talking about food products ) claimed “there was no Colgate Lasagne….The product image shown in the link you provided was something made up illustrate something that never existed. When I researched this question years ago, I found no evidence of ‘Colgate Kitchen Entrees.’”

Further digging by Harry Harris (HH) revealed that “Colgate Kitchen Entrees very much did exist, although twenty years earlier than 1982, when Colgate-Palmolive was coming under intense domestic competition from Proctor & Gamble and were looking to branch out into other areas.”

HH continues “ This Television Age Magazine profile of Colgate-Palmolive from 1966 mentions that in 1961 a man named George Henry Lesch became the new chairman and president of the company—this expansion being his main task. The article reads: “A line of dried chicken and crabmeat entrees under a Colgate Kitchen label was introduced and quickly withdrawn. An apple-chip called Snapples has been tested off-and-on over a two-year period, and one or two other food items are at various stages.”


May be the wrong date – and we’ve all had those – it would, nevertheless, appear that as the renowned international lawyer, strategist, futurist, producer, brand adviser, broadcaster and inspirational speaker, Andrew Eborn – whoever he is – eloquently pointed out all the way back in the last decade Colgate did indeed have a failed “fanciful foray into food” 15 August 2017 08:49am


The question remains did evian really produce a water bra??

Certainly, as pointed out, several sources claim that evian did, in fact, produce a water bra and it is often used as a perfect example of a product extension too far.

evian’s water bra made Business Insider’s list of “11 Bizarre Crossover Products You Would Never Expect From These Brands”

The evian water bra is also used as a cautionary tale in branding classes

“Perhaps the most notable failure that we discussed this quarter was the Evian Water Bra. Yes, Evian actually designed a bra that you can fill with water – Evian, one supposes. Why Evian did this, no one seems to know. The company has been skewered on many branding and marketing websites. Everyone who can write a snarky sentence seems to have done so. “

It also features in Crack’s list of “The 7 Most Baffling Products Ever Released By Famous Brands”

“Ladies, do you have breasts? Do those breasts frequently burst into flames? Well then the Evian Water Bra is for you! Meant to "cool humid breasts," Evian is actively pursuing that valuable market of swamp-dwelling, giant-breasted she-moguls. If you were a bottled water company, what might you branch off into? Home purifiers? Flavored beverages? Swimwear? Nope! Climate controlled boob-harnesses, all the way.”


For some time I’ve been trying to get my hands on an evian water bra (Quiet congratulatory note to self for avoiding obvious 70’s / “Carry On” puns … whenever I see a double entendre I just want to whip it out etc etc …insert Sid James laugh ..)

Amazon, ebay, Alibaba - not one !

May be they went bust etc etc


I therefore contacted Danone, the French multinational owners of evian, for clarification…

Helen Messenger, Communications Team Leader & Senior Specialised Nutrition Communications Manager, General Secretary,UK & IRELAND came back to me straight away to say that she would ask internally about the water bra.


The superbly efficient Helen Messenger came back to me, again, yesterday 11thMarch to say:

“We’ve looked into this, and we believe it is a spoof story from a 3rd party. It does not relate to any activity by evian”.

With so many sources claiming the existence of the evian water bra it is easy to see how several people could have been fooled into continuing to perpetuate the myth.

As those sultans of spin’s poster boy, Joseph Goebbels, pointed out “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”.

It would appear, that - yet again - fake news has managed to fool so many for so long. …

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story …

The best advice remains, in this fake news era QUESTION EVERYTHING !

The evian water bra was not a brand extension too far but - just like Colgate Lasagne and WD40 perfume - it was the glorious creation of a beautiful mind.

…if the evian water bra was your creation, please get in touch and I’ll ensure you get the recognition you so richly deserve.

Eau, eau heaven !!


That said, if you do have an evian water bra in your closet please let me know. I’ll add it to my collection of Octopus TV Failure Awards’ nominees about to be featured on our latest TV series… watch this space….

In the meantime, I’ll see you next time for more fantastically fabulous failures ….fact or fake!

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewEborn and @OctopusTV


#Andrew Eborn #OctopusTV #KnotTheTruth


“FAILURE” is a Registered Trade Mark of Octopus TV Ltd (UK00003263552) and may not be used without permission. Arguably, therefore you can’t own your failures but you could get a licence !!!

Contact us now for licensing opportunities ….

From failed products and services to campaigns and ads we would rather forget, we want to encourage organisations and brands to be better at learning from failures not just ignoring them and pretending they never happened.

Send your nominations with full description and images to

In addition to international recognition and glittering prizes the winners will receive the much valued TOFA. Andrew Eborn is a columnist, broadcaster and regular presenter and speaker around the world

Photographer: Corrado Amitrano

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