Did the Weizmann Institute team up with Paris Hilton?

Bizarre April Fool's video joke turns out to really be an ad campaign for SodaStream.

By
March 29, 2017 18:19
2 minute read.

NanoDrop - Highly Condensed Sparkling Water. Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

NanoDrop - Highly Condensed Sparkling Water. Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

 
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The Paris Hilton Institute of Plastic Pollution Solutions – in conjunction with the Weizmann Institute of Science – has released a groundbreaking, world-changing discovery: NanoDrop.

What is NanoDrop? Well for starters, it’s a completely fictional breakthrough featured in a video that Hilton – an heiress and reality TV star – released for April Fool’s Day (albeit a couple of days early).

But that didn’t stop the Rehovot-based university from sending out a not-so tongue-in-cheek press release announcing the innovation, and “a multiyear arrangement with the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, to advance existing research in the field of hydration and nanotechnology.”

The video, which Hilton posted on her Facebook page, refers to Weizmann as “one of the world’s leading research institutions.”

Clad in all pink, Hilton says the innovation “will reinvent drinking forever.” The idea, it seems, is to carry around “NanoDrop” water in a reusable bottle, reducing plastic bottle use, and therefore your carbon footprint.

Also appearing in the video is Prof. Ron Naaman (an actual professor in the department of chemical physics at Weizmann), who calls the discovery “groundbreaking and unexpected.” But, he adds, “in our field it’s always important to evaluate and to check things and.... we hope that we will be able to check the discovery to evaluate if it’s so important as we think.”

When Hilton posted the video, she wrote: “I never thought a day like this would come: Prof. Naaman, one of the leading minds in the nanotech field, praises my scientific venture on which I spent the last four most intense and rewarding years of my life.” Her fans posted messages of love and support. But when the Weizmann Institute posted it on Facebook, most of the commenters seemed confused.

A spokesman for the university confirmed that the Paris Hilton Institute of Plastic Pollution Solutions – or PHIPPS – “does not exist.” Ofir Auslander, who does public relations work for Weizmann, noted that Hilton released the video “in the spirit of the upcoming month of April.”

“Many celebrities take part in special activities for April 1, and this time the Weizmann Institute has partnered with Miss Hilton.”

But earlier this week, Israel Hayom reported that Hilton will be taking part in a new campaign for the Israel-based company, SodaStream. The report by Eran Swissa said the company filmed a commercial with Hilton in Los Angeles earlier this month.

A representative of SodaStream later confirmed that the video is part of its “global campaign to raise awareness of world pollution caused by plastic bottles.” The company said the full campaign featuring Hilton will go live in the coming days. The university spokesman also confirmed that the video was linked to the company’s campaign.

SodaStream’s ad campaigns often focus on how its product can reduce plastic bottle usage by making sparkling water at home.

Previous ads for the company – including a SuperBowl spot – featured Hollywood starlet Scarlett Johansson.

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