Waterdrop’s dystopian ad imagines plastic bottles for heads

The beverage brand’s wacky spot tackles two birds with one stone: single-use plastics and sugary drinks

Still image from Waterdrop's advert, showing two people sat down, who have drinks bottles for heads and are wearing tennis kits. One is trying to eat a banana through the plastic bottle covering their head. A third person with a bottle for a head is playing tennis on a red tennis court in the background

Waterdrop’s flavoured sugar-free cubes are dissolved in tap water, which minimises the environmental footprint associated with shipping drinks around the world, while also doing away with single-use plastic bottles.

What began as an Austrian start-up little over five years ago is now sold around the world. Global ad agency Jung Von Matt took a left-field approach to showing the virtues of Waterdrop, with a view to making a splash in markets like the US, which it recently entered.

The ad’s narrator introduces us to “a world cursed with SugarPlastic”, a fictional symbol of the world’s overconsumption. In the ad, directed by Max Millies, people’s heads are encased in plastic bottles, which are pumped full of sugary liquids in an alarming range of synthetic colours, like a fishbowl. SugarPlastic regularly gets in life’s way, but unfortunately, everyone’s hooked.

It could be a dry topic, but the ad manages to strike a tone that sits somewhere between Skittles’ barmy adverts and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.