Water and Human Rights


Today is Blog Action Day and the theme this year is human rights.  As a marketer and advertising agent, I’ve done my share of toothpaste selling.  That said, I must admit to enjoying cause-related marketing.  Readers know brand strategies with a cause, or facsimile of a cause, tend to have greater ballast.

I was at the Influx Creativity Conference yesterday in NYC and Paull (two Ls) Young spoke about his organization Charity Water.  It is a wonderful charity whose purpose is to make clean water available to all earthlings. Check them out here.  Where do water and human rights intersect? The root cause of human rights abuses is poverty. Around  Anthropologists will tell you that when hunter gatherers learned how to farm, governance and science accelerated. So when 2 to 4 hours a day are not dedicated to water gathering, there is time for other positive pursuits such as education.  And education is an inoculation against poverty. (You with me?)

Mr. Young suggested that every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides a $13 dollar economic benefit.  Take that marketing return to your CFO.

One of the cool tactical ideas in support of the charitable giving effort was to get people to swear off receiving birthday present for the year. If everyone in your family donates the cash equivalent of your birthday gift to the cause, it turns into a fairly nice sum. Plus it begins a groundswell of participants, who pass on the deed and become invested in it. It’s a feel good tactic with purpose-based virality.

There’s lot to Charity Water and its smart marketing strategy, but it is at its core an anti-poverty campaign. Peace be upon all the Charity Water donors.

PS. Thanks to Ed Cotton, Influx and Butler Shine Stern and Partners for a great Influx Conference.