Saturday, September 16, 2006

World Water Day Gets Sticky

In 2006, the World Water Forum was held in Mexico City to confront the issue of water use. Soon after, Duval Guillaume Antwerp thought up a campaign idea to get people's attention on something so simple and mundane; water. More than 500 Green Belgium stickers were stuck in washbasins, cinemas, pubs, restaurants, public toilets, universities and stations in nine Belgian cities and in Mexico City.

The picture of a little boy wih his mouth opening where the drain is, has an emotional impact at first glance. Look a little closer and you can read the sign on his forehead that reads, "IT TAKES YOU 1 SECOND TO GET DRINKING WATER. HE HAS TO WALK 20 KM." This marketing strategem is compelling and commands the eyes of the beholder.

I really admire this campaign for two reasons. First, it has a high shock value. There's no feasible way to look at this ad and not feel a thing. No matter who you are, this ad will interupt your thoughts and force you to take a second to feel sad, angry, guilty, something. My second reason for applauding these stickers is that there is no feasible way to ignore them. With noise being such a problematic aspect to the advertising field, if you can create an ad that no one can tune out you've won half the battle.

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