"#CloseTheTap marks the beginning of a new era of creative-excellence at NATIVE," says an excited Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of NATIVE. "This campaign reflects many of the ideals that are core to our business. It was a digital idea that extended beyond the digital canvas. It integrated the online world with the real world and brought the power of digital to bear on a physical object - in this case, a tap. It leveraged the power of social media to effect social change... and it embodied the kind of breakthrough creative thinking that drives our agency."
NATIVE created a live FlowCam connected to Twitter that monitored a flowing tap, rigged to a rotational water supply, everyday since its launch in March. With every tweet the tap tightened a little with the ultimate goal to completely close the tap when 10 000 Tweets were posted.
Those on Twitter could choose to post a Tweet from a number of pre-determined Tweets that contained tips and stats on water conservation, while Facebook users could add their online muscle, again, through pre-determined status updates.
The light-hearted updates and tweets went a long way towards garnering online attention and spreading the campaign's simple message - small actions save litres of water.
Justin Friedman, founder of FLOW, believes NATIVE has been truly innovative in using social media to drive behaviour change in the real world, in real time. He adds, "I hope this will inspire other agencies to use their creative talents to not only generate mass awareness of the environmental crises, but also to drive measurable change using the engaging potential of social media combined with compelling calls to action."
Ashton Hayes, a creative executive at NATIVE who headed up the campaign, says the #CloseTheTap campaign has been the highlight of his career. "It is the sort of idea that when you explain it to people they immediately want to get involved or help out in some way. The entire agency put in so much extra work to pull it together and they did it because they believed in the idea and the cause." The first few nights after the campaign went live NATIVEs were blown away by the number of tweets coming in internationally. "It proved to me how you can't expect ideas that are fuelled by social media to be confined by a country's borders. The most rewarding part of the campaign has been the stories we've heard from people who are now far more aware of the water crisis and how they have changed their daily habits in order to save more water," says Hayes.
Xenopoulos agrees, "I would like to thank all those people who made a water-saving pledge and Tweeted about it. You are the reason the tap has been closed and you've spread the word about the important of saving water while doing it. I am extremely proud to have been part of a project that uses our skills and technology to add value to the world," he concludes.