$14.7 Million Advertising Contract Approved by Metropolitan Water Board to promote Conservation

By on March 19, 2018
Metropolitan Water District

The Los Angeles-based full-service advertising firm Quigley-Simpson & Heppelwhite has been chosen from among nine firms to produce the next water conservation campaign for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The $14.7 million contract was approved by Metropolitan board earlier this week following an open, competitive bidding process.

The three-year contract will extend the ad agency’s previous contract with Metropolitan featuring a culturally diverse and multilingual, multimedia advertising and public outreach campaign for water conservation. Quigley-Simpson has previously produced Metropolitan’s award-winning Take a Turn and H2Love water conservation campaigns.

The new campaign will build on the water-saving momentum that Metropolitan created over the last three years through its award-winning conservation campaign and rebate programs. The campaign, to be launched this summer, will introduce new marketing strategies to promote the many water conservation rebate programs offered by Metropolitan and its member agencies.

“These efforts have produced results. Our research shows attitudes toward conservation have changed, awareness has increased. But we still have work to do,” said Randy Record, Metropolitan board chairman.

During California’s recent five-year drought residents and business owners across the state demonstrated an impressive commitment to conservation. However, since 2017’s record precipitation, the state has seen an increase in water use despite the return of drier conditions although recent March statewide precipitation has helped mitigate the exceptionally earlier months of Water Year 2017-18. But January 2018’s water savings against the benchmark of the same month in 2013 reflect a dismal 0.8 percent savings statewide.

Jeffrey Kightlinger, Metropolitan’s general manager said the new campaign will remind Southern Californians the need for conservation isn’t based solely on the weather, it’s a permanent lifestyle change everyone needs to undertake on a daily basis. The new ad campaign will help residents and business owners carry-out that lifestyle with direct guidance on how to make conservation a way of life.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen dramatic swings in hydrologic conditions, from the driest to the wettest periods in California’s recorded history,” Kightlinger said. “Those kinds of swings aren’t likely to end. Climate change will only add greater uncertainty and more challenges. Some of that is out of our control, but what is within our control is how much water we each use on a daily basis.”

For the first time since 2015, the upcoming campaign will include television advertising, allowing many Southern Californians exposure to water conservation messages in their homes where sustainable behavioral changes need to happen. The campaign also will connect with audiences through radio and streaming radio, community newspapers, billboards and busses as well as social media messaging. Quigley-Simpson’s experience with Southern California’s diverse population is part of the reason it was selected for the advertising contract, said Sue Sims, Metropolitan’s external affairs manager.

“Not only does the firm offer this experience and understanding of (water) conservation issues, it also proposes fresh, creative, and impactful approaches for the next campaign,” Sims said.