World Water Day took place on Wednesday March 22 and aimed to bring awareness to the global water crisis. Based on the multitude of campaigns, it’s clear that companies are taking note and are motivated to make a difference in the global fight to protect our most precious natural resource.
The business case for better managing and reporting on water risks is stronger than ever: 68 percent of companies report that by responding to water stewardship issues, they have benefited from cost savings, increased sales of new products, improved brand value, business resilience and competitive advantage. Beyond the business case, however, companies are seizing World Water Day as a moment in time to communicate with stakeholders about their efforts. Here are just a few of the many examples:
- Stella Artois continued its multi-year commitment to Water.org and partnered with Snarkitecture, an avant-garde art and architecture firm, to visualize the impact of its “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign. Snarkitecture installed a temporary canopy of balloons inside the high traffic area of Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus in New York City, which illustrates the importance of clean water. To show the continued impact of the campaign, the firm will continue to add one balloon to the instillation for each Stella Artois chalice sold and onlookers will witness the installation (and access to clean water) grow.
- Last year, Colgate spent upwards of $5M on an ad that highlighted water conservation and they continued their conservation efforts this year for World Water Day. The company ran a Snapchat ad that featured water flowing upwards from a faucet along with the following text “TURNING is all it takes to close the faucet. Brush with a closed faucet to save up to 4 gallons of water.” The ad aimed to engage a millennial audience and spark conversation about the company’s simple call to action for water conservation.
- To address the idea that not everyone has access to clean drinking water, One Water created water bottles covered in brown sleeves to make the contents appear dirty. Consumers couldn’t ignore the difference in appearance of an object and resource they often take for granted, spurring them to think twice about the reality of the global water crisis and the fact that clean drinking water is not accessible to all.
On World Water Day, it was encouraging to see so many examples of companies walking the walk. By appearing in consumers' everyday routines, companies engaged new audiences and not only communicated their efforts, but also sparked discussion and participation in water conservation efforts.