The Miracle Machine, an innovative device that turns water in to wine in just three days has been revealed to be nothing more than an elaborate publicity stunt.
Perhaps due to the continuous innovation being facilitated by crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter, The Miracle Machine proves we’re becoming complacent in our questioning of new technology and inventions. While the device sounded too good to be true, it was widely accepted as genuine, but as it transpires the device and its accompanying video marketing material is merely a front for Wine to Water, a charity whose mission is to provide fresh drinking water to third world countries.
The campaign, created by MSL Group on behalf of Wine to Water kicked off with a pitch video, not unlike those on Kickstarter – introducing the viewer to a revolution in home-fermentation, The Miracle Machine. Fronted by two wine specialists, Philip James and Kevin Boyer the pitch was, on the surface, pretty legit albeit with reference to some questionable and vague science… However, it had everything, a sleek design, app connectivity, it tapped in to the ripe home-brewing trend, and the call to action encouraged over 7,000 interested people to sign up for the Kickstarter launch. The video also prompted coverage from over 600 media outlets world-wide, setting the ground work for a huge interested fan base.
Two weeks later, and the ruse is revealed. This has caused divided opinion of the campaign, with many commenters deriding the charity for ‘lying’ and thus only inflaming scepticism and anger. While no one likes to be deceived, one has to wonder if the Miracle Machine was actually a stroke of genius?
The internet loves viral content, especially entertainment, we greedily consume commercial content and applaud the brands who can make us laugh the most – but how can a charity compete when their subject matter is so serious and consequential? The Miracle Machine concept, in our opinion, was clever. It created a huge amount of interest and awareness around a charity doing valuable work, and aside from a few people who really wanted the tech…there’s no harm done. In fact, the opposite may be true as Kevin Boyer commented,
If by lending our reputations, we could bring a broader reach [to Wine to Water] and save one life, we’d do it 10 times over again.
So, if you’re not one of the peeved mob, then take a look at the follow up video – The True Miracle which explains a little more about the Miracle Machine campaign and the charity, Wine to Water.