Can you turn water to wine?
Did you see the video advertisement for this product a few weeks ago? The ‘Miracle Machine’ claimed it could “turn water into wine” – making wine in three days with just water and a few other ingredients. The product seemed legitimate, particularly because it was promoted in the video by Kevin Boyer and Philip James, two well-known members of the wine industry and founders of Customvine, a winemaking and marketing company.
Or wine to water?
Turns out this product was a publicity stunt, created to raise awareness for the non-profit Wine to Water which focuses on providing clean water to people in need around the world. Through various benefit wine events, wine tastings and fundraisers, Wine to Water has raised money to provide clean water and sanitation to over 250,000 people in 17 countries.
By the response this stunt received, I would say it was a success. The original video demonstrating this “miracle” product received more than 200,000 views in just two weeks and was picked up by 600 news outlets worldwide, including TIME, Mashable, Esquire and ABCNews.
Wine to Water just came out with subsequent video explaining the hoax and noting that even if you can’t make water into wine, you can make wine into water by supporting their organization and purchasing limited edition ‘MM’ commemorative wine instead. For every bottle purchased, ten lives will be saved through their work around the world.
Now many of the same top-tier media outlets who originally covered the faux “Miracle Machine” are publishing articles noting how they were duped and mentioning Wine to Water and the organization’s fundraising efforts, giving some good publicity to a great cause.