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Saving Water with Colgate




South Africa

Positive Provocation

Using media to drive behavioural change is what we all strive for, this entry combines that objective with a clear understanding of the very real challenges facing South Africa’s water supply. We used media to address something quite serious, challenge societal norms and deliver on a much bigger objective – saving water.

Our Approach

Colgate, a toothpaste brand with a rich history, often being the South African colloquial term for all toothpastes, were starting to lose its purpose amongst younger consumers. The agency needed to develop an innovative media campaign that will drive consideration amongst a younger generation. We taped into the insight of how important environmental issues are for this generation, and use that to inform our approach.


South Africa has been experiencing various water shortages and we realised that the future of South Africa, and access to water, are in the hands of our younger generation. Colgate’s brand purpose is rooted in creating a future worth smiling about. A future without any water is no joke. We wanted to show that in one brush, people can avoid wasting up to 19 liters of water by using a cup, instead of letting the tap run.

We needed to reach our younger consumers in a fun, engaging and educational way, so that we could create sustainable social change in the long term, and build a brand purpose to drive brand consideration.



Using Snapchat, we developed a fun and engaging lens, which allowed our audience to try and catch water droplets by moving a cup using Snapchat’s mobile augmented reality technology.

The mobile campaign which ran from the 22nd of March 2019 to the 31st of March 2019 linked back to Colgate’s #EveryCupCounts message that integrated into the larger water saving campaign during World Water Month.  Audiences were motivated to screenshot their lenses and share them on social media using the hashtag #EveryCupCounts to drive the message beyond the Snapchat Platform.


The Snapchat campaign achieved the highest playtime of any lens/filter on a single day with 120 seconds of playtime per user. The Snapchat campaign generated a total of 1.5 years of playtime and 1 274 604 engagements.

The offline sharing of the campaign reached more than 12 million South Africans and generated a 75% increase in online conversation around the topic of water saving.

The Snapchat campaign generated a 46% Ad Recall and increased Colgate’s purchase intent among younger consumers by 21%, highlighting the power of purpose-driven marketing.

But the most important result: Colgate changed the brushing behaviour amongst consumers that will continue to save water well into the future.

increase in online conversations
ad recall
increase in purchase intent

Colgate changed the brushing behaviour amongst consumers that will continue to save water well into the future.

Christa Kruger, Business Unit Head: Colgate Palmolive

Growth Stories