A few days ago I covered an impending crowdfunding campaign which appeared to have serious merit. Widely covered in the press, the product was reportedly prepping for a big launch on Kickstarter. The story had caught the imagination and attention of millions of readers. The description on the very professional web site elaborately described the device and how the founders were applying silicon valley tech know-how to an age old process akin to fine art.
Unfortunately everyone was duped.
The media buzz was part of a “disruptive program” launched as part of a pro-bono campaign to support a non-profit “Wine to Water“. Certainly an admirable cause and organizers have definitely accomplished their objective generating significant earned media in what otherwise would have probably ended up on the back page of D section.
The writer who covered the article for Business Insider, Alyson Shontell, shared in detail the elongated process of her deception. She had met Phillip James, on of the organizers, in person.
The group explained their approach;
‘…Wine to Water’, an organization that provides people around the world with access to clean water, one of life’s basic necessities. In just under two weeks, the Miracle Machine went viral as more than 200,000 people watched the Miracle Machine video, nearly 600 media outlets around the world covered the story, 6,000 people tweeted about it. We now need to turn our attention to Wine to Water.”
“For the cost of a bottle of fine wine, we provide a way to produce 99.9% pure drinking water to a family for up to five years and THAT is the true miracle,”
So while there have been crowdfunding campaigns for interesting brewing devices we will have to all wait a bit longer for someone to come up with wine making machine. Most definitely launching soon on a crowdfunding platform somewhere. In there interim, although I feel somewhat chagrined as I was duped as well, there is nothing wrong with considering supporting a charity that wants to provide clean water to people in need around the world.