USA, global initiatives, water projects

UNICEF Targets Latino Community in Awareness Campaign

3 Comments 19 November 2010

UNICEF Targets Latino Community in Awareness Campaign

The average New Yorker is concerned about subway delays, lines at Starbucks, and reaching a destination in a hurry. International concerns like deaths attributable to water-borne diseases and the global water crisis are not top priorities for every metro New Yorker. How can UNICEF call attention to the fact that 4100 children die every day because of a lack of clean water, according to their research?  How  can water projects raise awareness in a population that cares more about Metro fare hikes and sample sales?

In order to raise awareness in the Big Apple, UNICEF partnered with Casanova Pendrill, a Hispanic consumer expert and marketing agency, to target the Hispanic population in New York to bring the issue of dirty water to the busy streets of New York City.

UNICEF’s TAP Project began in 2007. By 2009, the initiative had yet to reach out to the Hispanic community specifically. In a telephone interview, CEO and President of Casanova Pendrill, Ingrid Otero-Smart told WaterWideWeb, “The need is so big and the awareness was so low ,especially with the Hispanic community”.

Research from Casanova Pendrill indicates that Hispanics give to charities that they are familiar with. They also give to charities that are close to home. “We had to shock people into action”, added Otero-Smart. So they came up with “The Dirty Water”, a non-traditional segment of UNICEF’s TAP water project.

Annually, UNICEF’s TAP water project takes place in  March, during World Water Week. In 2009 UNICEF set up a vending machine in New York City’s Union Square, the heart of the City. The vending machine didn’t sell bottles of the clean and clear water that New Yorker’s are accustomed to. Instead, the machine sold bottles of dirty water, clearly labeled as contaminated with diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and even dengue fever.

Please watch the video of the Dirty Water Campaign here

UNICEF representatives stood in Union Square and offered bottles of contaminated water to by-passers. The bottles of contaminated water certainly caused a reaction from onlookers. People could purchase a bottle of dirty water for just $1.00. The dollar donation would go to the TAP water project and provide 40 children with fresh water for a day. People who wanted to donate but didn’t have spare change could donate via  text message from their cell phone.

The goal of the Dirty Water was to raise $1 million. To achieve this objective, Casanova Pendrill launched a comprehensive bi-lingual media campaign that included television, radio, print digital and billboards.

The media push was successful,  exceeding the $1 million . “We’re already on our second year and we’re just getting briefed for year three”, confirmed Otero – Smart.

Please watch the following media presentations by Casanova Pendrill:

Tap Project Journey

Tap Project Coin

The Dirty Water represents a new approach in raising awareness about global issues. Conventional methods to inform people about international public health problems, disparity, and preventable deaths are not effectively reaching all segments of the population.

Partnering with advertising and expert marketing companies proves to be an effective method to cause even distracted New Yorkers  to stop and take a second look. Tapping into the public conscious requires direct endeavors that are visual and informative.

Providing useful information and an opportunity to make a difference is a tricky game, one mastered by the Dirty Water.

If you enjoyed this article, you should also read:

Save a Water Well Save Lives

Repairing Water Wells When the Water Runs Dry

Cholera in Haiti: Direct Aid Workers Speak

The Coca-Cola Company: Sustainable Communities for Sustainable Business

The Diplomacy of Water: The U.S. & The Water for the Poor Act

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