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Kohler Co. sponsors national public service campaign addressing water conservation – wasting water is weird

Aug. 11, 2011
PSA Campaign puts onus on Americans to consciously stop wasting water, rather than just thinking about it.

KOHLER, Wis. – Kohler Co., the 2008 and 2009 EPA WaterSense Partner of the Year and 2010 Excellence Award recipient, is part of a concerned coalition pleased to announce its latest water conservation effort – Wasting Water Is Weird – a national public service campaign launching today and running through the remainder of 2011.

The campaign focuses on engaging consumers about the looming freshwater shortage and encourages individuals to embrace water conservation efforts around their own homes and kick bad habits – such as running a faucet while brushing one’s teeth, or running an almost empty dishwasher. Within the next five years, experts predict that 36 states will face serious water shortages, and yet, each American uses about 100 gallons per day.

That is the rationale behind the PSA campaign, which was developed by the Shelton Group, a marketing and advertising agency focused on sustainability, and supported by Kohler and other coalition sponsors including Lowe’s, Bosch home appliances, Proctor & Gamble and the EPA’s WaterSense program.

The Wasting Water Is Weird PSA campaign takes a fresh approach away from gloom-and-doom messaging in favor of a more positive, humorous tone to help make consumers make conscious choices. The central figure is a fictitious “weird” man referred to as Rip the Drip, who “shows up” while people are going about their daily activities and begin wasting water. While using more water than they need, these homeowners are then exposed to Rip and that’s when they realize they are wasting water – and that wasting water is weird – so they abruptly stop.

The new public service campaign features myriad media platforms, including a series of video PSAs for broadcast coverage, a Web site, social media, and outdoor and online advertising. Individuals are encouraged to visit to learn about Rip and the campaign, and view the videos. They can also go to Facebook and “Like” Rip the Drip, and follow him on Twitter .

“Kohler has a large stake in the availability of clean, safe water. And we understand the importance to educate homeowners about reducing water usage,” said Rob Zimmerman, water conservation and sustainability manager for Kohler Co. “We need Americans to take personal responsibility and shift their behaviors from passively thinking about how to save water to proactively taking action, such as installing high-efficiency toilets, showerheads and faucets.”

After winning back-to-back WaterSense Partner of the Year awards in 2008 and 2009, Kohler received a 2010 Excellence Award for its efforts to bring together industry leaders and bolster the WaterSense program. The company has hosted a series of “Save Water America” educational and promotional events across the United States, as well as an interactive Web site –

“Save Water America is just one example of our strategic collaboration with EPA and was a multi-faceted initiative involving touch points with consumers and trade alike in delivering key messages about water conservation,” added Zimmerman. “This latest multi-pronged PSA campaign with the Shelton Group, EPA WaterSense and the other sponsors is yet another endeavor demonstrating Kohler’s commitment to environmental responsibility.”

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