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.