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.

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

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

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®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

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.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

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.