Quite simply, our ask was just to stand out at SXSW. But knowing our audience, and the fierce competition for buzz at the conference, we knew it needed to be something tweet-worthy. These are savvy 21-40 year olds who are there to network, learn and, let’s face it, get drunk. But rather than showing off a new app or tech gadget, this was for something far more important. So it had to be good.
According to charity: water’s statistics, 4,000 people die every day worldwide from lack of clean water. That’s staggering. And over the 10 days of SXSW, that number would grow to be 40,000.
To drive home the size of the problem, we would have a live art installation of a massive cup tower being built each day to keep pace with the number of deaths happening during the conference. Thousands of empty yellow drinking cups piling higher and higher everyday. The tower itself would be a spectacle worth sharing, but we’d also have multiple touchpoints to drive home our message and invite people to take action.
A set of custom-designed charity: water cups that attendees could purchase, which would also provide clean water for one person in a developing country
Livestream video of the tower that would allow non-attendees to also experience the installation and participate
Jerrycan counters in hotel lobbies that keep pace with the cup count and promote attendees to go visit the tower experience.
Cup-shaped dimensional posters that spotlight the symbol of “1 cup equals 1 life.”
This was a holistic view of how a SXSW badge holder might have heard about the charity: water tower and ultimately be driven to visit the installation and take action to donate.