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A Creative High Five for a Colgate Commercial

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, this week’s Creative High Five goes to Colgate. This “Every Drop Counts” commercial initially caught my attending during the Super Bowl. This ad, created by the Y&R Agency/Peru (originally in 2014 for World Water Day in Peru and Columbia), was so compelling that it not only moved the needle for Colgate sales, but for a bunch of charities focused on providing clean water for others.

I was immediately impressed that this company went out on a limb and used their coveted media buy for a social cause rather than a more expected sales message.

It opens with a man brushing his teeth in an understated bathroom. It didn’t shout or nag. It just pointed out what so many of us are guilty of doing while we brush our teeth – leaving the water on. No harm intended. But in the privacy of our own homes we’re draining this valuable resource.

As a Californian, hyper aware of the need to save water because of the draught we’ve experienced for years, that was all that was enough. But then they added a third-world prospective of another man whose arms and hands are quite dirty, reaching in to that clean sink to wash an apple. Another reaches in to fill a bowl.

Then we see the message, “Brushing with the faucet running wastes up to 4 gallons of water.”

And we see a little girl desperately cup her hands to drink from the faucet.

“That’s more water than many people around the world have in a week.”

“Please turn off the faucet.”

There was no voice over. Just the sound of a guy, brushing his teeth.

Yet this message was heard loud and clear. (Keep reading for the metrics.)

It did such a great job of making people think about saving water.

It closed with a brilliant call to action and social media campaign:

“Spread the word. #EveryDropCounts”

They even created a microsite where people can pledge to save up to 8 gallons of water every day by going to everydropcounts.colgate.com. At the bottom of this site is a running tally. As of today, 29,545 people have spread the word, saving 236,360 gallons of water every day. Wow, they thought of everything to tie their product to an important social cause and get people to sign up for Colgate’s newsletter. (See there’s still a product sell in there.)

According to Stat Social, which uses technology to track audience behavior, Colgate experienced a big lift in site traffic the day after the Super Bowl as did a number of charities. You can read about these detailed metrics.

With the success of this campaign, I hope more ad agencies and their clients come up with some creative marketing ideas to help drive sales and make a difference. Have you spotted any other examples of socially oriented ad campaigns? Are you working on one now? Let me know. I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a line at me@ameliaostroff.com.

I am not associated with Y&R or Colgate in any way. But I can say both of their products make me smile. If you like this post, please share it with your followers with one of the buttons at the top of this post. It would be greatly appreciated.