There’s something about Bubly Sparkling Water that just feels like we’re being forced to embrace them as The Next Big Thing.
From the pop tab that says “haayy”, to the lolling tongue emblazoned on the side of the can, to the ill-advised “love at first phssst” floating in a bubble, it just all smacks of trying a little too hard to be adorable and likeable.
This branding might be the Nicole Scherzinger of sparkling waters: pretty, and perhaps demonstrating aplomb in the field, but can you please just stop shoving them down our throats?
Like the Pussycat Dolls, bubly is the sparkling water pop star that
the world Pepsi keeps trying to make happen.
But is bubly happening?
Well, we can assure you that their Cherry and Lime flavors are certainly not. And their packaging veers into the twee and aggressively off-putting, much like the palatable pop-star-that-almost-could, but is possibly just a lesser amalgam of brighter stars/bubblers in the pop world/bubbleverse.
Eventually, maybe the heavy-handed full court press will subside, and bubly will settle into their less glamorous role as a reality TV show talent show (sparkling water) judge, and the hype and “hey girl hey” branding will take a seat.
Until then, let’s have a drink, shall we?
Because we’ll admit: we’re big fans of bubly’s Blackberry, and we’re always ready to embrace a delicious sparkling water, even if it’s the spawn of the Dark Despot of High Fructose Corn Syrup and Tone Deaf Advertising, PepsiCo. We do tip our caps to your ingenious idea of creating flavors for SodaStream. You’re an unstoppable juggernaut, and we see you.
But ok, let’s sniff you, too!
Once we’re done rolling our eyes all the way to the astral plane at the cutesy “haaay” on the pop tab again, we have to admit we really like the nose on this.
This is real, freshly peeled mango, mouth-watering aromas wafting from your cutting board.
But then again, we are still traumatized by whatever foul machinations were at play with their Cherry and Lime flavorings, so we gird our mouth loins as we prepare for our first sip.
There are few greater joys in life than entering with low expectations and leaving pleasantly surprised, which is how we embarked on our first sip.
bubly mango is satisfying and refreshing! There’s a crisp and bright quality to this flavor that makes us keep wanting to come back for more.
The mango in this can is riiiiiiipe mango. This mango hangs heavy on the branch, swaying juicy and sweet in the breeze.
Here’s the thing that bubly does, and which makes or breaks their various flavors: they condense multi-faceted fruits into one-dimensional caricatures of themselves. If you’ve ever eaten a fruit, you know that there’s all kinds of things that happen in your mouth: earthy sweetness, citric sourness, planty bitterness.
Bubly takes that wild fruit cacophony and picks only the most basic aspect to highlight in their flavors. Which sometimes works, often doesn’t. But with the mango, it definitely does.
This is a sunny, balmy day in Costa Rica with a fresh breeze. A hot summer day punctuated by a stop at the sliced mango street cart.
A trip to Whole Foods where the shelves are finally restocked with your favorite sparkling water that’s been out for a while: apprehension and preemptive defeat have melted into peace and harmony. Frown upside down. Even your tongue is lolling out in an annoying but somewhat cute way.
This lacks the delicious tartness of the real deal, but maybe that’s how we prefer our mangoes, your mango prefs might tend towards the sweet side. In which case, this is the one for you.
And it finishes with some unforeseen, but genuinely delightful, strawberry notes. Maybe it’s just us imagining this? But maybe it’s some universal harmonic at play, as mango and strawberry are delicious bedfellows.
You win this round, Pepsi! We’ll crank some “Buttons”, sip some bubly, and succumb to whatever The Machine wants us to consume.
At least for today.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor