If we look around, we are sure to find absolutely useless things that we bought once and have no use for them now. And there are also stuff that even when we can get free or very cheap, we pay a premium price for. In India, bottled water makes sense because of the poor quality of the public supply of water. But in developed countries like the US, the success of such a product is pure marketing.
Perrier’s advertising was selling a specific message, and it targeted a specific population: well-to-do baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, as they entered adulthood. It sought to assure them that those who partook of Perrier’s sparkling waters were sophisticated, classy, and conscientious. It conferred, in a word, status.