While preparing myself for giving classes at the degree course of Executive Marketing last weekend I came across an interesting case study of the social campaign of WaterAid organization. It points to the fact that we live in a world increasingly devoid of physical money, but there are still places where coins are necessary (eg. Parking meters, car washes or lockers). The British branch of the organization in one of the pools used the latter to emphasize the essence of the problem, which is lack of access to clean water in many places in the world. According to a study by WaterAid every minute in the world a child dies as a result of impurities in the water he had just drunk.
By modifying the lock mechanism of dozens of lockers and adding screens inside of them, the campaign was also focused on raising money for charity, supported by the organization. The income had come from lockers to which we usually put 1 pound, which we take while leaving the pool or simply forget about it. At this point begins a little controversy, but first let’s have a look at the video:
Because I am a real swimming lover, I like such use of lockers very much and the possibility of simple, as well as cyclical transfer of micropayments on important purpose – especially when you consider how much money can thus be collected within one year what can also be seen in the film. During the classes several students noted the perverse model of operation of this action (the foundation is not asking for subsidies, you have to ask for a refund of your money) that – in their opinion – is based on the emotional blackmail and has cause us to feel guilty when you really want these few pounds from the locker back. I answered: “Isn’t it what it’s all about?”.
The moment of contact with the campaign message, is to me one of the few moments when we think about how to use the resource, which for us is obvious, and for millions of people – not available. In the UK, the action has been very well received, and WaterAid after the tests, plans its implementation in the next few facilities in the country.
What is your attitude to this campaign and its mechanism? Do you perceive it as emotional blackmail, or more like emotional blackmail in the good cause? I’m looking forward to your opinions.