Recently here in Hamilton, there are large billboards encouraging people to drink tap water. My household already consumes a lot but I’ve been wondering about the reason for this public relations campaign. Here’s what I found out.
The billboards are produced by the City of Hamilton and began to appear in June 2010 to implement a directive of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This news release from the Federation provides greater detail but essentially, the directive was two fold:
1) Reduce the amount of bottled water in municipal facilities and,
2) Develop awareness campaigns about the benefits and quality of municipal water supply systems.
A web address on the billboards takes you to Hamilton’s Public Works Department with useful information on their own initiatives and related organizations. Another click on this page takes you to a detailed explanation of the billboard campaign.
The billboard design is quite eye-catching with large, bright photos of individuals and huge captions declaring “I Drink Hamilton Tap Water.” Apparently these are all Hamilton residents who volunteered for the job. I think my favourite is the leather clad biker dude!
The text is minimal, making it easy to focus on. And the message “Tested 47,000 times in 2009” is to the point.
Britta has also been promoting the use of tap water vs. bottled water through various media. Britta’s research explains one of their pitchers can replace up to 300, 16.9 ounce water bottles. While Britta will gain profits from this, reducing the world’s plastic is a good thing for everyone.
Kudos to the City of Hamilton for this socially responsible campaign. Cheers!