City of Cedar Park
Moving a Community Toward Conservation
A Peek at the Results
Cedar Park is a booming city. But booming cities tend to use a lot of water. And not long ago, in the midst of a history-making drought that pushed Cedar Park into the notorious “Stage 3” water restrictions, the city decided to make a bold move.
They asked us to develop a campaign that would reduce water consumption and waste.
- Cedar Park wanted to lower their water usage by 20%—a lofty goal considering the city grows by 5% every year.
- Add to that a 60% reduction in their marketing budget due to a reallocation of resources, and we surely had our work cut out for us. Luckily, we relish a good challenge.
First up, we needed to inform residents that they were allowed to water their lawns only one day per week. For this, we devised the “Down to One” message:
A traditional media buy didn’t make sense for this campaign. There would be too much waste as the message bled into Austin, which has different watering rules and restrictions.
So we turned “Down to One” into a direct mail piece (above) and put signage up in key public spots, including pump toppers at the city’s gas stations and at city pools. We also put digital “Down to One” ads on weather-related websites and Pandora—all targeted at Cedar Park residents only.
Once residents got used to their new watering schedule, it was time to up the ante. So we developed a simple website full of water-saving tips, tactics, and incentives.
The homepage also tracked the water level of Lake Travis—a crucial part of Cedar Park’s water supply and a key way of measuring the severity of the ongoing Central Texas drought.
Our research showed that children influence a family’s environmental concerns, so we created a cartoon that told the story of a little bean who overwaters his lawn. We featured the video on the website, in Cedar Park movie theaters, and as pre-roll advertisements for YouTube users with a Cedar Park IP address:
The conservation effort was so effective that in the second year of our work with them, Cedar Park eased some of the water restrictions.
Despite record rainfall in 2015, water concerns aren’t going away anytime soon. We’re proud to have created a flexible, budget-conscious campaign that has shown real results—and will continue to help conserve water for years to come.