Pin to Collection
Add a note
Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Executive Creative Director: Nicholas Platt (Rapp)
Copywriter: Matt Blint (Rapp)
Art Director: Danielle Perkins (Rapp)
Art Director: Maryam Mohseni (Rapp)
Agency Producer: Derik Parrent (Rapp)
Director of Photography: Bernard Aroux (Solid LA)
Executive Producer: Jennifer Patterson (Solid LA)
Producer: Dwen Blumenthal (Solid LA)
Editor: Roger Marshall (Solid LA)
Talent: Rusty (Rapp)
Production Assistant: Phil Mendoza (Rapp)
Production Assistant: Wallace Bridges (Rapp)
Media placement: Dog Bowls - On The Street - 1 November 2009
Media placement: Video - Vimeo - 1 December 2009

Summary of the Campaign
Generosity Water is a Southern California-based non-profit organisation that works to provide the installation of clean water systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. 100% of their donations directly fund project costs associated with building wells. As a result, their marketing budget is USD 0. Our objective is to raise awareness for the cause, increase participation and drive donations with no budget. We know Generosity Water donations come primarily from private donors in Southern California. Our challenge is to bring the water crisis to life for people accustomed to readily available drinking water. We also know that throughout Los Angeles, free drinking water is provided to dogs outside of businesses and along the Strand. The reality is that dogs in Los Angeles drink cleaner water than 1 billion people in impoverished nations. So, we created dog bowls with the message 'Your dog drinks cleaner water than 1 billion people across the globe.' We placed these dog bowls around the city and created an online video to highlight the disparity between how we treat our animals and how we view the water crisis. Today, Generosity Water regularly receives donations and volunteers that mention the dog bowls as their impetus to act.

The Goal
In order to raise awareness and increase participation and donations, we needed to grab the attention of people who live in the more affluent areas of Los Angeles in away that brings the crisis to their front door. In other words, how do we bring this water crisis to life for people so accustomed to readily available drinking water? Talk about their pets. Throughout the beach cities in Los Angeles, free drinking water is provided to dogs outside of businesses and along the Strand. The reality is that our pets drink cleaner water than 1 billion people across the globe.


Although our limited budget didn’t allow us to make more dog bowls, we saw a strong emotional response to our online video. It was reposted on blogs, embedded, talked about and passed along. Generosity Water continues to have people donate and volunteer time whom consistently list the dog bowls and/or the video as the reason for participating. Our greatest success has been inciting people to act. Although a small donation can have a big impact, the donation of time and effort is what keeps Generosity Water moving forward.

We scouted locations in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach, talked to shop owners and placed our dog bowls in affluent communities with large dog populations and high foot traffic. We then filmed people and dogs interacting with our water bowls, and turned the footage into a video to be posted online. It wasn’t long before people began taking our dog bowls home with them, but at that point, we had already translated the experience into an online video that could be shared and passed along.

The Situation
Around the world, 1 billion people can't get a cup of clean water. That means 1 out of every 6 people on earth don’t have access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation results in the death of 3.6 million people a year, more than every armed conflict combined. These deaths aren’t violent; they’re long, quiet and painful and they simply don’t receive the media attention necessary to fund the solution. If we can just get the word out, USD 10 appropriated in the right way, can provide a person clean drinking water for 20 years.

The Strategy
Our lack of budget meant that our solution needed to be sharp, shareable and buzz worthy. Thousands of dog bowls sit outside of businesses and along the Strand in Los Angeles. If we could replace some of those bowls with dog bowls that have our message, we could then drive them to a place online where people could learn more, donate and find ways to help. In addition, an online video that was passable would let people who had not seen the dog bowls in person understand the crisis in a very simple way.