Save Our Water: Tough Love

California Department of Water Resources


  • Multicultural
  • Celebrity
  • Government
  • Humor
  • Multi-Lingual
  • Sustainability
  • water
  • sustainablity
  • Sustainability, Social Impact and ESG

California's increasingly warmer and drier climate is expected to diminish water supply by up to 10% by 2040. The Governor's critical call to action spurred the 'Save Our Water' initiative to educate Californians about the permanency of the situation and the need for a long-term commitment, new behaviors, and a year-round approach to water conservation.

Through its consumer research, The Shipyard learned key themes that resonated with most Californians, including "water is too precious to waste", "we're in this together" and "every drop counts." Additional testing uncovered a divide in how residents reacted to communications. While some preferred an emotional tone that made personal connections to the topic, others were looking to get straight to the point through water-savings tip education.

Adding to the challenge, California residents are at different stages of understanding when it comes to our new water reality and the need to make water conservation a way of life.

The Shipyard leveraged these insights in its humorous new campaign built around Californian's love of water and need to protect it, working closely with partner, The Axis Agency, to develop omni-cultural creative assets that were relatable to all Californians and maintained the informative humor when delivered in Spanish.

The 'Tough Love' campaign shares everyday household water conservation tips in a way that's warm and funny without losing the severity of the message.

Celebrities Danny Trejo & Niecy Nash harness their tough sides to deliver 'tough love' to Californians so they don't contribute to water waste and learn some new ways to save along the way. By doing simple actions such as full loads of laundry, not leaving the shower running, and minimal lawn care will help save water in a big way.