About two years ago, a major toilet cleaning brand approached our agency to come up with a water conservation campaign. This made me happy for two reasons: firstly, since flushing is one of the leading causes of water wastage in urban cities, the initiative was a great fit. Secondly, I have always been passionate about saving the planet so I took a keen interest in the project. In fact, we ended up giving them a game-changing idea I was sure would ‘bowl’ them over and earn our agency some creative awards.
Instead of just encouraging people to save water, we proposed giving them a practical way to do it while keeping the brand at the crux of the execution. The idea was simple: when your toilet cleaner runs out, instead of throwing the empty bottle away, fill it up with water and place it inside of your toilet’s flush tank. Every time the flush fills up, it will use 500ml less water (due to displacement). That is half a litre of water saved with every flush, in every toilet, in every home in Pakistan with no additional cost, investment or effort needed. Since it was a global brand, this idea could have even been taken worldwide.
Unfortunately for us (and the planet), the brand team didn’t go for the idea. Why you ask? They said they only wanted to focus on ‘agricultural water wastage’, which they felt was a far more prevalent issue. Whereas I agree that industrial-level water wastage is a much larger problem, it would still have made more sense to start this initiative where it is most relevant –with your own consumers in their own homes. Needless to say, two years later, the brand still has not done anything to help save water in Pakistan. What a waste. Hopefully a more progressive competitor will read this and steal the idea.
Taimur Tajik is Creative Head, Interwood.