When Gretha Oost launched her water- and plastic-saving innovation, 321 Water, she saw it as a model for a sustainable, resourceful future.
The one thing she never saw coming, however, was that Hollywood would latch on so quickly.
321 Water, you may recall, took home the top honour in last year’s Anthill SMART 100 competition. Then, just last week, Oost started getting texts, tweets and calls asking if she was excited about her product placement in The Hunger Games.
Yes, that Hunger Games. Not in a bookreading by a local fan club, but on the silver screen itself.
Sure enough, audiences flocking to see the futuristic teen blockbuster, which has been raking in revenues right and left, were able to verify a cameo appearance by the 321 Water container in the sleek, hyper-sanitary control room scenes of the film.
Oost, who has not yet seen the film, said she was “blown away” when she heard about the sighting.
“We didn’t know anything about our product being featured in the movie,” the Melbourne resident said. “It certainly came as a big surprise.”
The bottle’s unique concept — which utilises a filtering device to allow for drinking tap water on the go — is complemented by its glossy blue design that seems to hold a futuristic aura. Evidently, it was this combination that caught the attention of set designers for The Hunger Games. Stylistically, it fits right in.
Viewers who are hoping to spot the thirst-quenching product should pay attention to the hologram scene in the control room near the movie’s end; that’s the one where Katniss Everdeen and her star-crossed hunger-mate, Peeta, are being chased by the “muttations” into the centre of the arena. For about 13 seconds, the water container is clearly visible.
While Oost was caught off-guard by the news, she’s not complaining. The subtle Hollywood endorsement, she says, proves that 321 Water is the bottled water of the future. (A future that doesn’t include that whole part with violent child gladiators, that is.)
“This shows that great design and a creative approach can put Melbourne-made products onto a global stage,” she said.
And, on that serendipitous note: who’s to say what surprise endorsements await this year’s SMART 100 innovators?