Our friend Mr. Ronse recently brought a gag gift known as “Bernard Dehydrated Water” to my attention.
Packaged as if it were a canned food product, this item is clearly a part of that larger category of gag gifts: packages, containing ephemeral contents. (See: Rob Walker’s recent Design Observer post, “Rarified Air”)
The thing that’s unusual in this case is that “dehydrated water” seems to be the only novelty product of an otherwise legitimate food company: Bernard Food Industries.
Apparently on the market since 1962, their dehydrated water beverage is the only gag gift mentioned in a long list of trademarked applications for their standard label design. Also interesting, is how they’ve stipulated their trademark’s use for “novelty gift items, namely, empty cans.”
(Some trademark documents, after the fold…)