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  Glacéau - enhanced
July 5, 2004

What can you do with a website hawking water? Quench the user’s thirst for information about the product.

Formed in 1996 in Whitestone, New York, Energy Brands Inc. pioneered the enhanced water category. Energy Brands is the parent company of Glacéau water products, which sells water under the labels

VitaminWater and SmartWater. A visit to reveals a rather smart site, which opens on colorful splash pages. Based on Flash technology, it enhances the brand with a multicolored organ producing different tunes when the mouse passes over VitaminWater bottles.

Glacéau - enhanced The site's branding is perfectly aligned with Glacéau's brand positioning. Same look, same attitude, same voice. Similar to label packaging, text is lower case, cheeky and confident: "one sip, swing or gulp may result in boycott of other beverages." Color use is bright and vibrant, reflecting the refreshing quality of the product.

On choosing a bottle, the product jumps straight up, produces a tune, and displays a funky Q&A based on the selected drink. For example, we learn that the fruit punch VitaminWater, called "revive," contains vitamin B and potassium. The exchange of question and answers typically flies at this level: "q: if i put revive in my fish tank will my goldfish wake up? a: we don't believe in animal testing." A click on the bottle brings up a facsimile of the "revive" label, complete with barcode.

A floating bubble on the top left hides the secondary menu, serving as a kind of IQ test for those who might not be smart enough to find that there is more to the website. Besides product information, the navigation menu displays store locator, label maker, glossary, faqs, company info and contact.

The label maker is a cool feature, which again nicely reinforces the brand and allows VitaminWater to both collect information about its visitors and plumb for free ideas. Visitors can take a shot at making their own label of a vitamin drink complete with attitude, colors and minerals. To view your label, you have to supply an email address, giving the brand managers access to a mailing list of interested consumers.

With, Glacéau provides an excellent example of website development aligned with its brand positioning. Rather than being a display of technological know-how, the Flash technology is deployed here to enhance the website's content without overwhelming it. It is well balanced. From a branding viewpoint, Glacéau's web presence scores well above average and is among the best online presences Webwatch reviewed this year.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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