World Water Day Marketing

Brands bring attention and fundraising to International Water Day


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

March 22, 2018 | 7 min read

Most of us take clean and plentiful water for granted, but that’s certainly not the case around the world. The UN’s World Water Day, celebrated March 22 every year, focuses on the importance of water, and several brands have put together special campaigns to celebrate the day and bring attention to the importance of water issues around the globe.

Watermarks for Water

Watermarks for Water for Getty Images on World Water Day

The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges the world faces now and in the future. Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption and, according to World Water Day, today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home, which affects health, education and livelihoods.

Filling it forward in Canada

Canadian company Cupanion is putting a message – and a melody – in its assortment of reusable cups and bottles in celebration of World Water Month.

The Guelph, Ontario-based reusable water bottle brand has partnered with Toronto agency send+receive to create an online video that features a group of people using its various products to create a piece of African-themed music.

Every note in the 60-second video, ‘Bring Water to Life with Cupanion,’ was created using a Cupanion cup or bottle filled with a different amount of water, producing distinct sounds when struck with a mallet.

“The bottles lent themselves perfectly to a musical context as percussive instruments and melodic instruments because you can achieve different pitches when they’re filled to different levels,” said Simon Craig, partner and creative director at send+receive.

As part of its Fill it Forward initiative, Cupanion will donate a cup of fresh water to WaterAid Canada each time the video is viewed online. The video can be viewed on YouTube and other social media platforms.

Cupanion has donated 3.3m cups of clean water to WaterAid since launching Fill it Forward in 2012, providing clean water for health clinics in Tanzania, as well as safe water, toilets and hygiene education to more than 29,000 school children in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Inspiring the world to reuse has always been our mission,” said Cupanion founder and chief executive officer Matt Wittek. “In addition to the environmental benefits of reusable water bottles, the Fill It Forward initiative is making a difference around the world, and it’s part of our ongoing commitment to environmental and social responsibility.”

Send+receive wanted to present the initiative in a similarly positive way. “Unlike a lot of charitable messages, especially when Africa is involved, we wanted to make this a joyful expression,” said partner and creative director JP Gravina. “We didn’t want to pull on heart strings too much or rely on negative imagery to motivate people. So, we decided to inspire people through song.”

Cupanion is also introducing a new scannable tag that can be attached to any reusable water bottle on World Water Day. Customers who purchase the tag on can scan it using the Cupanion Rewards app to earn rewards and track their impact on water-based projects. In addition, Cupanion will make a water donation to WaterAid every time the tag is scanned.

Cupanion: Fill it Forward by send+receive

By Cupanion

Overall Rating 4/5

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Watermarks for Water

A campaign for Getty Images, called 'Watermarks for Water,' launches on World Water Day and aims to help raise awareness and funds for the global water crisis by transforming the iconic Getty Images watermark.

The Watermarks for Water collection features than 300 images, shot by some of the world’s top photographers, highlighting the lack of clean drinking water around the world. Getty will be launching a special microsite, and each time an image from that collection is licensed, the iconic Getty watermark is removed and 10% of proceeds go directly to charity: water, an organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

“At Getty Images, we believe in moving the world with images. Water is one of the most essential elements in our lives, so on World Water Day this year, we’re kicking off a movement to help bring awareness to and raise funds for the global water crisis," said Getty Images chief operating officer Craig Peters.

Getty Images is also dedicating its first-ever homepage takeover to this cause tomorrow. From the Watermarks for Water microsite, people will have the option to either license an image or share it on social media. Each image shared socially will retain its watermark, along with a compelling fact about challenges surrounding clean drinking water.

“Every person on this planet should have access to clean drinking water. We’re excited that Getty Images is joining us to provide clean and safe drinking water to people in need, and helping to raise awareness around the world water crisis,” said Bilal Zaidi, director of brand partnerships, charity: water

The company’s agency partner, FCB Chicago, worked with Getty Images to create a launch film, which will be featured on the Getty home page, to help raise awareness of this issue.

“One of the things that struck us the most when working with Getty Images on this campaign is that more people die from drinking impure water than from war," said Liz Taylor, chief creative officer at FCB Chicago. "That insight led us to take one of Getty Images’ most recognizable assets – the watermark – and flip the idea on its head: What if, by removing watermarks, we could start a global movement to bring clean water to those around the world who lack it?”

Getty Images: advert-body-1 by FCB Chicago

By Getty Images

Overall Rating 5/5

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Coffee for Water

In time for World Water Day, Peet’s Coffee has released its annual, limited-edition 2018 Anniversary Blend, which honors the brand’s founding by giving back to origin through its ‘Drink a Great Cup, Do a Good Thing’ program in support of clean water access.

Peet’s is celebrating its anniversary by giving back to the people who grow their coffee. This year, they offer a blend of two African coffees from either shore of Lake Kivu, Rwanda and Congo. Those who buy the coffee are helping provide access to clean water for coffee communities in Rwanda. Peet’s Coffee Villages Project will provide safe drinking water to 2,000 families in the communities that grow the coffee. Additionally, 5% of proceeds help provide clean water to coffee families in Rwanda.

Peet's Coffee: advert-top-1

By Peet's Coffee

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World Water Day Marketing

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Getty Images

Getty Images, Inc. is an American stock photo agency, with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, United States.

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