Safe Water Project: Doing Well by Doing Good

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By Naomi Greer, Associate Director  Corporate Communications

Clean Water, Safe Water Project, World Water Day

There are two Perus. One is the modern business center in the capital of Lima. The other, about 500 miles north, are the rural communities in the Tambogrande District of Piura, where there is no infrastructure to provide access to safe drinking water. The contrast between the lives of Peruvians with and without access to safe water was the linchpin behind a recent campaign by our office in Clorox Peru that showed how companies can do well by doing good.

The campaign was built around the Clorox Safe Water Project, which provides diluted bleach dispensers at communal water sources in these rural communities to eliminate bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. Although the project — which was developed through a partnership with local nonprofit organization PRISMA — had been in place for almost four years, there was little awareness of it in the more urban areas of the country.

The Clorox Peru team knew many of the 26 million Peruvian people who had access to safe water in Peru wanted to help the 4 million people who didn’t, but they didn’t necessarily know how. Our approach was to encourage them to continue doing what they were already doing (buying bleach) so they could “help the helpers” and become part of the solution. The more they bought, the more they could feel they were contributing toward the Clorox Safe Water Project and what it stands for.

Clorox Safe Water Project, World Water Day, clean water

The campaign aimed to attract, engage and motivate Peruvian consumers in a variety of ways. One video, which introduced the program and theme “to stop ignoring is to start helping,” shows an office setting where business executives leave their full glasses of water on a conference room table — only to be retrieved by “invisible” children from these rural communities who don’t take safe water for granted. Another video informed and surprised consumers with its stark message by featuring a real estate tour of a beautiful, modern home for rent that’s only missing one “minor” amenity: water. Social media, news stories, in-store materials, product labeling and more also helped generate awareness of the initiative, with celebrities joining in the effort. Within a couple months, it was clear that the campaign had awakened a sense of national solidarity around the issue of safe water.

Safe Water Project, clean water, world water day

Bleach dispensers installed in front of the communities water collection point for easy & convenient water treatment

Clean Water; Safe Water Project; World Water Day

On this World Water Day, with 1 billion people still lacking access to safe water[1], we reco

gnize that much more needs to be done. Yet we’re gratified that we’re making inroads by improving the health and well-bei

ng of 25,000 people through our Clorox Safe Water Project. And we’re encouraged that our recent campaign raised awareness of this important issue in Peru and hope the experience — where we were able to make a difference and drive business success around a single campaign— will inspire others to do the same.

[1] Retrieved March 17, 2016.