What do $38 bottles of hot dog water (hot dog included) and Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle mega-brand Goop have in common?
Both will be making an appearance at Vancouver’s Stanley Park Pavilion on Saturday.
Paltrow is bringing her controversial wellness brand to the city on the weekend for a summit called In Goop Health, billed as a “mind-expanding day” featuring wellness experts, local chefs and a “goopified Stanley Park Pavilion.”
Tickets for the event cost $400 plus tax, for which attendees can learn about defusing anxiety, changing personal relationships and decoding gut health. Paltrow is also expanding her product line into Canada.
WATCH: Gwyneth Paltrow’s company Goop is coming to Canada
Goop has faced criticism from some medical professionals, who accuse the brand of peddling potentially dangerous products based on bad science.
Earlier this year, the company was forced to pay $145,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations of unscientific claims made about three products, including a $66 vaginally inserted jade egg meant to improve women’s sex lives.
That reputation of selling bogus health products is what caught the attention of Vancouver artist and Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans — who plans to crash the summit.
You may remember Bevans from his eye-catching prank this summer at Vancouver’s Main Street Car Free Day festival.
Flanked by a “scientist” and a man in a hot dog bodysuit, Bevans presented himself as a health drink entrepreneur and hawked the slickly branded bottles of hot dog water for $37.99.
The product’s marketing described it as a gluten-free wonder drink rich in sodium and a source of electrolytes. He sold one bottle and convinced curious festivalgoers to consume about 60 litres of the stuff in sample form.
“It’s really innumerable. Our extraction experts have deemed it a miracle product and with reason. First of all it’s Keto-compatible, you can lose weight, look younger, increase vitality for sure, and last but not least, increase brain function,” Bevans deadpanned.
The stunt, Bevans explained, was meant as a commentary on the “snake oil salesmen” of health marketing.
Now the artist is reprising his role with a kiosk planned outside the In Goop Health event.
“It’s really not a personal vendetta against Goop. We’re calling it an unhealthy competition,” Bevans said Thursday.
“It seems like Goop is one of these companies that we want to bring awareness through critical thinking to, but it’s not necessarily Goop, we want to cast a broader net.”
In a media release, Bevans described Saturday’s event as a “playful parody of the healthy lifestyle quackery that flourishes in this credulous age.”
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Visitors will be greeted by a chef stirring a giant cauldron of hot dogs, and a display of chilled hot dog water, hot dog water lip balm and hot dog water breath spray.
“Although humorous, Hot Dog Water is not a prank, and people are not being tricked into drinking it. Rather, in its absurdity, the art performance encourages critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it plays in our purchasing choices.”
Attendees hoping to catch Paltrow’s summit are out of luck, as the event is sold out. However, anyone hoping to sample a cool glass of hot dog water can catch Bevans outside the Stanley Park Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
—With files from Katie Dangerfield and Rahul Kalvapalle