PepsiCo will bring a drink into production to help people reduce stress and sleep better during these uncertain times, the company announced today. They decided to name this “improved water drink” Driftwell.
While my colleague Matt Novak referred to the name as a reference to “the dystopia we were promised,” I find it uninspiring – a kind of over-focused compilation of the equally bland Madewell and Spindrift lines (one of which is already a drink).
Without getting too far ahead of us, the “improved” portion of Driftwell is being traced back to L-theanine and magnesium … and everything they use to make it taste like blackberry / lavender, Driftwell’s only flavor. The former additive is an amino acid that shows up in many trending things designed to promote sleep, but there are large-scale clinical studies that show it does anything of the sort painful is missing. Magnesium also has little to no Data suggesting that chugging would help the average person experience this present moment in history less acutely.
It’s safe to say that Pepsi sells a 7.5-ounce can with a placebo effect, and to market those false claims, there couldn’t even be a better name than Driftwell – which might as well be a bluetooth connected kayak could, or a mattress startup that is blowing its entire budget on podcast ads.
Here are some names for something in the soda giant’s wheelhouse that are proven to be better:
8th. Melatonin Dew
7th. Pibb Xanaxtra
6th. Snoore’s angina
4th. Dr. Sleeper
3. Mountain dew: Code Dread
2. Half a liter of vodka at room temperature
1. Pepsi Coma
According to PepsiCo, the drink currently known as Driftwell is slated to hit shelves in the first quarter of 2021. So it’s not too late to choose another, better name.