Humor makes a splash in water conservation behavior

Client: Bosch, Kohler, Lowe’s, Procter & Gamble

Kohler, Lowe’s, Bosch, and Procter & Gamble wanted to make some waves in Americans’ water conservation behaviors. Preserving America’s water supplies is a serious topic, but serious communications weren’t waking consumers up to their own wasteful habits. The four sponsors pooled their resources to support a national PSA campaign we created, “Wasting Water Is Weird.” In the campaign, a character named Rip the Drip showed up that moment when using water became wasting water … and he made that moment so awkward, no one could forget it. In fact, 29% of consumers who had seen the campaign said it caused them to change their water usage habits.

Client Challenge

Two-thirds of Americans said in our Pulse survey that they were concerned about freshwater supplies. But they weren’t acting on that concern. In the moment – brushing teeth, washing cars, etc. – they didn’t notice when they crossed the line from using water to wasting it.

Shelton Strategy

Consumers needed to notice the moment when using water becomes wasting water. Then they would be able to shift their automatic, water-wasting habits to conscious (and smarter) choices. By using humor and relatable scenarios, we could spur them to make that shift.

Critical Tactics

  • TV
  • Outdoor
  • Digital
  • Social

The Payoff

Wasting Water Is Weird included a national television PSA campaign, out of home ads, a website and extensive social media outreach from Rip (his social media pages boasted roughly 70,000 posts by the end of the campaign). Overall, the campaign racked up 432 million impressions, the equivalent of a $6 million ad buy. The real win was evident in Shelton’s Green Living Pulse™ report the next year: 29% of consumer viewers said it caused them to change their water usage habits.

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Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and GreenBiz.com.

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insight

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Penny Kemp

VP Account Management & Strategy

Penny leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results. She works closely with Suzanne, President & CEO, to develop strategic marketing plans and with Matt, VP Creative, to foster creative campaign ideas. Before joining Shelton Group, Penny had developed expertise in brand management and marketing while working with award-winning agencies and shepherding programs for the likes of Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Russell Athletic and James Hardie Building Products.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Glen L. Vesser III

VP Finance and Administration

Glen manages Shelton Group’s finances and administration, ensuring our internal systems run smoothly so we can provide exceptional client service in a seamless and timely manner. Glen’s financial and administrative expertise has been shaped by decades of experience in a variety of industries, including public accounting, media distribution and health care.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.