An L.A. Agency’s Grassroots Drought Initiative Has Grown Into a Citywide Campaign

Omelet and mayor's office create 'Save the Drop'

As California's drought continues to worsen, the city of Los Angeles has turned to a local ad agency to help change residents' water habits.

The "Save the Drop" campaign, produced by Omelet, L.A., officially launched this week in conjunction with Earth Day and urges area residents to shift the way they use the state's increasingly precious resource.

"We created this campaign to help Angelenos rethink their relationship with water and to give water a voice," said Ashley Jacobs, drought campaign program lead for the Los Angeles' Mayor's Fund. "By making people think about how every drop really counts in their daily lives, coupled with tangible action items and water savings rebates, we believe 'The Drop' can help us shift culture and meet Mayor Garcetti's goal of a 20 percent reduction in water use by 2017."

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

The L.A. mayor's office tapped Omelet after seeing the success of the agency's own grassroots #H2No drought campaign, launched last year. According to the shop, the current pitch personifies water as a character who has supplied the many needs of city residents without asking for anything in return until now. 

The pro-bono campaign is reaching Angelenos through ads on sanitation trucks, Department of Water and Power bill inserts, and in city parks. "Save the Drop" messages will also be projected to movie theater audiences and launch on television and radio.

In addition, Angelenos are directed to online information they need about how to save water at sites like www.savethedropla.org. One incentive: Garcetti's team has created water conversation tools to reduce usage, including a $3.75 per square foot rebate for lawn replacement. (Fifty percent of LA's fresh water is used outdoors.)

"Public policy is often augmented by communications campaigns, but water conservation is an arena where public outreach and engagement become a primary governmental imperative," said Yusef Robb, Garcetti's director of communications. "Given the depth of the current drought and the limits of our resources, we created an unprecedented media platform by marshaling together all of our city channels for the first time, bolstered it through the Mayor's Fund, and turned to Omelet to make sure we have the most compelling, most impactful creative possible."