Perrier Eau-la-la… The sexiest sparkling water is 150 years old.


This year, Perrier celebrates its 150th anniversary. This is the opportunity to come back on one brand image aspect: a wild, assumed but always elegant sensuality.

For its TV campaign, Perrier has chosen to broadcast again some of the most remarkable films of its advertising adventure, such as “The Woman and the Lion” of 1990. For its packaging, the brand has invited the pop-art movement leader, Andy Warhol, whose road it had already crossed 30 years before, leading to the production of serigraphy. Eccentricity, creative madness and avant-gardism are so many qualifiers the brand identifies with. The limited editions that were created with the Andy Warhol foundation remind us of Perrier’s attachment to artistic collaborations. Colette, Jean Giono, Dali or Ridley Scott, have all given something of their talent to the little green bottle. But the icon was not born yesterday.

The fruit of a breakthrough strategy from its birth, the sparkling water has never stopped stimulating the senses and mostly, arousing desire. Deliberately positioned on the party field, which is quite rare for a non-alcoholic beverage, Perrier rapidly promotes itself as “the champagne of table waters”.

This positioning comes from its Anglo-Saxon origins. Indeed, the Perrier spring is French, located in Vergèze in Le Gard, yet it is the British St-John Harmsworth who gave it life in 1903. Thanks to his association with Docteur Louis-Eugène Perrier, but mostly to his breaking the rules regarding balneology, he aims at making of Perrier THE beverage. To achieve that purpose, he relies on a powerful network, that of his brothers, founders of the Daily Mail, and he develops a strategy that quickly pays off.

From the French Riviera to the borders of the Empire, the craze for the sparkling water reaches the British. Harmsworth frees the mineral water from its image of medicinal property product. From now on, Perrier will be considered as a common consumer product and not as curative water anymore. In addition to developing the industrial process, he aims at positioning it as a society, elitist and luxury product. Two years after its launch, Perrier is a supplier of its Majesty the King of England. The “Princess of table waters” still has a long way to go.

Taking advantage of the Anglo-Saxon consumption habits, of their taste for “soda water” and of the inescapable need to dilute whisky with healthy water under tropical heat, Harmsworth floods the British colony.

Alternately “lively and sparkling”, “young and fiery”, “loving”, “Champion”, Perrier embodies every type of woman in the 30’s.

In the 60’s, femininity turns wild, feline, a concept the brand will rediscover 30 years later. Perrier is well aware of its values and does not think twice about playing with them.

Craziness, rule-breaking and partying are commonly associated with the brand, they express the brand spirit and they are deeply rooted in its DNA.

But, it has also often revealed a yearning of the senses to be set free. From “Embrace” by Villemot in 1981 to the “Choc thermique” film in 2006, the brand comes within the scope of desire, libido and heat.

Torrid versus refreshing, it or rather she is flirting, enticing and provoking without ever falling into vulgarity. The callipygian bottle plays with her figure, her own figure first, but also women’s.

In 2009, Perrier broadcasts again on TV an advertising film dating from… 1976 and launches a dedicated Internet site to go with it. Directed by Serge Gainsbourg, the offensive film in which a hand touches and caresses a Perrier bottle, till the final pleasure, is promptly censored. As a tribute, and with a lot of humor, the “Hand” resumes its career and stands as a star on stage or on calendar pages on the Internet.

The same year, the Perrier labels are covered with pin-ups stripping off in the heat.

The following year, Perrier pushes glamour and burlesque codes further on with the Dita von Teese Mansion. As a subtler echo of the Mansion Play-Boy, the star stripper joins forces with another “avant-gardist, elegant, audacious” star and undresses in a confidential atmosphere for the brand and the surfers.

In 2011, sensuality is back on the party field, with the “Perrier club”, a place where temperature increases and scripts change depending on the number of films viewed, in a more and more torrid even decadent atmosphere. This year, the brand continues its digital adventure on the offensive party field with “Secret Place”.

Playing on fantasies, on one’s immersion in the possibility of experiencing something out of the ordinary, “Secret Place” raises the following question: “How many lives are you ready to live?”. One thing’s for sure, Perrier will always be ready to arouse an irrepressible desire.


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