Water Wise Rules

Sydney Water

Following drought-breaking rain, Sydney’s dam levels rose. New water usage guidelines were introduced, and Customedia was engaged to develop the media strategy to inform Sydney and Wollongong water users of eased, but specific long-term water restrictions.

The “Water Wise Rules” campaign had three Waves, each of 8-10 weeks. Each creative execution communicated all three of the new water savings rules.

The Challenge

Customedia was asked to review tracking research following Wave 2 to inform the media strategy for Wave 3. We observed that although knowledge of the introduction of new rules and prompted recognition of the campaign (70%) was high, only 38% could mention any new rule. This was disappointing considering two multi-media waves and a $2 million investment.

Our Observations

We contended that more of the same media approach would not meet the challenge of increasing knowledge of the new rules, and that a different approach was needed for Wave 3. The Wave 3 budget was $450,000.

Our Strategy

We proposed that the funds be evenly allocated to three x two week phases; each with a single-minded focus on just one new rule. Messages were:

Phase 1 – No garden watering between 10am and 4pm.
Phase 2 – All hoses must be fitted with a trigger nozzle.
Phase 3 – Okay to wash cars but no hosing hard surfaces.

Each phase was a multi-media pillar combining radio, CALD radio, selected suburban print, CALD print and digital. Messages in each medium were aligned with all others. New creative was developed, and all formats remained the same except for radio (15” versus 30”).

Major radio networks, community press publishers, and major digital publishers were briefed, seeking integrated partnership solutions to supplement our paid activity. All responded generously.

Radio networks responded with a mix of 5” pre-recorded stingers, 3” pre-recorded blinks, weekend News sponsorships, sponsorship pointers, 30” live reads and simple announcements: “we cross now for the 10am News and remember you can’t water between now and 4pm”.

Both, News and Fairfax Community, offered help with discounts and contextual placement in the “1 degree” environment section, and editorial support.

Online publishers responded with sharp CPMs, and geographic and contextual targeting (Real Estate (Renters), weather and gardening).

The Results

A combination of 45% added value in radio, 38% in print and 13% in Online, combined with single-minded messages focussing on each rule, significantly increased the knowledge of the new Water Wise Rules. The graph below illustrates the before and after knowledge metrics from the Wave 3 tracking. Nothing else changed except the media strategy recommendations.