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Brands Have Utterly Lost It on Twitter, or Why Everybody Is Tweeting About Pee and Coconut Water

I’m just gonna get right into this because there’s really no vamp that’ll do it justice: The official, verified account of Vita Coco, the coconut water brand owned by All Market Inc., is tweeting about piss.

On Wednesday, an amateur MMA fighter named Tony Posnanski was tweeting about how coconut water is “fucking disgusting.” The Vita Coco account, seeing an opportunity for brand engagement, offered to send him some free product. Posnanski replied, and I quote, that he’d “rather drink your social media persons piss than coconut water.” Which is what gets us to, well, this picture of a Vita Coco social media person standing in a bathroom stall holding a giant jar — with a Vita Coco sticker — full of, allegedly, pee.

Honestly, just take a minute to sit with that.

Upon closer inspection of the photo, I became increasingly skeptical that the jar actually contained urine. The color seemed wrong to me. Frankly, it looked a little like coconut water. (If you’ve never actually looked at coconut water in a glass, well, just know there is a reason it comes in opaque packaging.) It seemed like too much liquid. I reached out to Vita Coco for comment.

Here is the official statement from the Vita Coco Twitter account: “Madison. It’s pee.”

Since the dawn of advertising, most beverage products have sought to avoid comparisons between their products and urine. Not in 2019; in 2019, the pee discourse on Twitter is the stuff brands dream about — the kind of social lift companies can try to test in focus groups and plot for months but often end in failure, and even criticism, when they get implemented in reality. Think about it this way: Everyone on Twitter is talking about Vita Coco right now. What brand wouldn’t want that kind of word of mouth, piss or no piss? Brands spend thousands of dollars on writers and marketers and consultants trying to develop “authentic” voices on social media, but nothing is more authentic than a big jug of pee. Earlier this month, Burger King released a line of “Real Meals,” one of which was called the “Pissed Meal.” It didn’t go over super well. I can’t imagine the dollars and time that went into planning that campaign. Maybe they should have interpreted the “Pissed Meal” a little more literally.

Why Everyone Is Tweeting About Pee and Coconut Water