LifeStraw launch at Le Roi Beach Bar in Camps Bay a lifesaver!

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LifeStraw product Whale CottageWhat an unusual product launch to have been invited to, and what an interesting venue for client Aqua4Life to have chosen to launch its LifeStraw water filtration product on Thursday.

When we arrived at Le Roi Beach Bar in Camps Bay, the previous one half of Blues, we saw a pack lying on the table where the media goodie bags were displayed too. Made by Vestergaard, a Swiss company, the LifeStraw is a chemical-free filter which makes contaminated water safe to drink.  The product has been tested by the SABS, and equivalent international standards bodies, and removes ‘bacteria, protozoan cysts and turbidity from water’, according to the media release we received.   Aqua4Life has the exclusive rights to selling the product in Southern African countries, which comes in three sizes: the Personal portable filters up to 1000 litres; Go (in a water bottle) filters up to 1000 litres; and Home unit filters up to 4500 litres.  Aqua4Life MD Nico Germishuizen, said: ‘We have a plethora of projects lined up for the implementation of LifeStraw in poorer communities with little or no access to any water sources. Our foremost quest in southern Africa is to save and change the lives of those most desperately in need of clean, running water. We now need role players to step up and help us change those people’s lives’.   The product appears to have been around for a number of years already, and was named by Time magazine as the ‘Best Innovation of 2005‘.  The company is partnering with Rotary International, the Red Cross, the World Health Organisation, US Aid, and our government to provide clean water to those needing it.   On the company website, I found the prices for this innovative product range: R199 for Personal, R399 for Go, and R1999 for the Home unit.

We had been invited for 18h00, clashing with the start of the German/USA soccer match, and waited for some action to happenLifeStraw vegetable crudites and dips Whale Cottage. We were told that the product would be launched at 19h00, but when nothing had happened by 19h15, I left in search of the soccer.  I was told that a VIP was holding up the proceedings, and only arrived some time later!  This was not well received by the writers present.

Vegetable crudities were served with dips. LifeStraw Fruit Kebabs Whale Cottageas were platters of cheeses, charcuterie, fruit kebabs, and sushi.  The crackers that came with the cheese tasted stale.  The large space allocated to smokers was actively used, to our irritation, as the smokers were not good at keeping the sliding door to the rest of the venue closed.   Le Roi has a large bar counter, and its decor is interesting, in being inspired by Vladimir Tretchikoff, with images of the Lady of the Orient and the Chinese Girl on the walls. The original of the latter can be seen at Delaire Graff, having LifeStarw Lady of the Orient Whale Cottagebeen bought by owner Laurence Graff for R 13 million.  A huge shame is that the windows are covered with blinds, meaning that none of the fantastic Camps Bay beach view can be seen from this beach bar. From the street the blinds serve to provide branding of the beach bar to the Camps Bay beach goers, a poor compromise.

 As product launches go, this was one of the poorer ones we have attended.  No client nor PR company representative took trouble to come over to us to chat, or to explain the reason for the delay in getting the proceedings going.   The opulence of Le Roi Beach Bar and its setting in Camps Bay also seemed to contradict the poverty of the target market at which the LifeStraw products are aimed.

Disclosure:   We received a notebook, a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, and a container of Mediterranean Delicacies’ Halva Cocoa with our media pack.

Aqua4Life, Kenilworth, Cape Town.  Cell 074 383 0001   www.aqua4life.net    Twitter: @Aqua4LifeZA

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: WhaleCottage

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