“And the winner for best supporting actress on the Golden Globes red carpet goes to… Kelleth Cuthbert, the Fiji Water girl!”
The 2019 Golden Globes sported some truly gorgeous moments. Timothèe Chalamet looked like an absolute SNACK, Rami Malek rightfully (in my opinion) took out the big awards, but no detail made more of a splash than the Fiji Water girl – aspiring model Kelleth Cuthbert – and people are thirsty for it.
If you haven’t done any scrolling since the Golden Globes (maybe your New Years resolution was less screen time? Idk how else you would have evaded it), then you might have missed one of 2019’s first memes: the Fiji Water girl, who’s ace photo-bomb skills have become a major conversation. She truly came to serve (and not just Fiji water.)
Shit You Should Care About… The Fiji Water Girl
As far as publicity stunts go, Fiji water got it SO right.
The internet is an incredible thing. It holds more information than anyone can possibly fathom, yet we, as weird human beings, pick up on the tiniest details, and if they’re entertaining enough – we make them viral (the most successful end game.) And the Fiji Water girl is no exception to the rule. The Golden Globes are a “star studded” event, celebrating some magnificent works of art, and those who’s talent and passion made them possible. But we can’t waste time on those mere formalities, because the Fiji Water girl overshadowed them all. Appearing in countless celebrity photographs from the evening and subsequently taking the internet by storm, Cuthbert admits that she made a calculated effort to include herself in as many of the shots as she could, saying that “it’s all strategic – you’ve got to angle.” Wow, spoken like a true celebrity Cuthbert.
In terms of Marketing 101, Fiji Water must be absolutely swimming in it. They paid Cuthbert’s wages for the night, and in turn got their product placed with a number of sparkling Golden Globe nominee’s, whether they knew it or not. Today, memes and “going viral” are the marketing jackpot, and Fiji Water hit it. Marketing analytics firm Apex Marketing Group estimates that Fiji would have had to spend $12 million for the same amount of brand exposure. The meme moment has also fast tracked Cuthbert’s career for a hot minute, as her instagram followers have shot past 200k, she’s appeared on the Late Late Show with James Corden, E News, TIME, and basically every other publication that gives a shit about the Golden Globes. I guess you could say a star was born.
“I do love a good meme, so I think it’s incredibly ironic and funny that I’m one now.”
Kelleth Cuthbert, Fiji Water Girl
But not everyone was as impressed as us internet folk.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis however, has called out Fiji water after seeing a photo of herself on CNN where she is a victim to the photobomb. Curtis called it “blatant promotion” and said she actively avoided the Fiji water and Moet stations, which were set up with designated cameras for this exact reason. Curtis, like other celebrities didn’t want to be promoting those brands for free, and without their consent.
The celebrities who fell victim to Cuthberts photobombs aren’t the only ones suffering. The environment is too. A lot of people have been criticising the stunt as promoting an industry that is hurting the environment and promoting waste. Vox have written a brilliant article all about this exact point, deducing that it takes around 6.74 kilograms, or 1.75 gallons of water, to produce, export, and distribute one bottle of Fiji Water.
In a 2017 blind taste test, Fiji water came in second to tap water – a resource readily available in most parts of the US. But the strange dystopia we are living in where everybody wants a manufactured and marketed commodity, mixed with Fiji water’s “untouched by man,” (very untrue) aesthetic, means that bottled water is, and will continue to be, the way of the world.
But in a world where entertainment trumps environment, and we don’t have the attention span to think or care about the repercussions of something as mundane as bottled water, the Fiji water girl meme will reign supreme.
And we will continue to drink it up until the next weird viral moment.