Access to clean water is one of the world's most pressing issues. Even as water flows freely from taps in developing countries, woman around the world spend a combined 200 million hours every day collecting a few gallons for their families. Like many social issues facing developing countries, it is hard for Americans to understand the magnitude of such a crisis and what they can do to help. The newest campaign from Water.org and Stella Artois does just that through a combination of impactful storytelling and a simple call to action.
This week, Stella Artois and Water.org partnered to ask consumers to "Buy a Lady a Drink," but perhaps not in the way one might imagine. The campaign, launched by Matt Damon and Gary White during the Sundance Film Festival, highlights the plight of 750 million people worldwide who live without access to clean water. This disproportionately affects women, many of whom spend the majority of their days collecting water. The campaign features a series of short films that highlight the real lives of those who spend their days hauling water back to their homes, and the impact it can make when water is made readily available. To kick off the campaign, Stella donated $1.2 million to Water.org, but individuals can do their part, as well. Consumers can purchase a limited-edition Stella Artois chalice inspired by the cultural heritages of India, Ethiopia or Honduras for $12. And the impact is clear – every chalice purchased will provide five years of clean water for one person in the developing world. The campaign has been so successful, it's already sold out of the first edition of chalices.
Showing consumer impact isn't always easy, especially with a complicated issue like water scarcity. But the "Buy a Lady a Drink" campaign makes it easy: buy a chalice; give clean water for five years. And the short films help consumers understand exactly what's at stake. Companies looking to help consumers understand how their individual actions can make a real impact on a complex issue can take a page from Stella Artois and Water.org's playbook.