NEW YORK No one likes to see good money go down the drain. A new campaign from DiMassimoGoldstein urges consumers to rethink their bottled water purchases by informing them just how much it costs not only the environment but also their wallets.
“Bottled water costs 7,000 times more than the same water that comes from a faucet,” says one ad picturing a water bottle with a label made of money.
Each ad in the campaign carrying the tag “Drink tap. Tappening.com” features a graphic image of a single plastic bottle against a white background. The facts are highlighted with a green asterisk.
“Water is like air and electricity, people don’t think a lot about it. We want people to think about tap water,” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO, CCO of the New York agency, who explained he and his partner in the Tappening initiative, Eric Yaverbaum, were inspired by the documentary Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home. “We want to engage their curiosity and leave them with one of a few compelling facts.”
An ad picturing a dead fish floating inside a water bottle explains, “Every year, 38 billion water bottles end up buried in the earth.” Another shows a cloud of smoke billowing from the top of a bottle, symbolizing that bottles “generated more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide” last year.
The ad effort, supported by $250,000 in media, began this month with wild postings in 10 markets and media placements in community newspapers and niche publications such as Animal Print.
The goal is to convince consumers that tap water is the more rational choice. “Of all the things we can do to make the planet a better place, this is so simple,” said Yaverbaum, co-founder of Tappening and president of Ericho Communications. “We’re not asking you to drive less, turn down the air conditioning. … We’re asking you to get educated on a product that you don’t need.”
The Tappening project began in November with the production of reusable bottles branded with “Think Global, Drink Local” and “What’s Tappening?” and the launch of Tappening.com. The site informs users of the negative consequences of bottled water and urges visitors to write a “message in a bottle” declaring “I’m switching to tap water” and place it in a plastic water bottle to be sent to the Tappening founders. When 1 million have been collected, they will be delivered to incoming Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent on his first day on the job in July.
The Web site also features related video clips. The agency is creating a widget that will allow people to send video messages from the site to mobile phones.
To date, Tappening has sold about 250,000 bottles. Money raised from sales will continue to fund the project, said the partners.