Effie Award Winner: Colgate Save Water at Walmart

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Effie Award Winner: Colgate Save Water at Walmart

By Dan Ochwat - 08/01/2019

Manufacturer: Colgate-Palmolive

Lead Agency: Geometry

2019 Shopper Marketing Effie Award: Single-Retailer Program: Mass Merchants (Silver)

In 2016, Walmart revealed Project Gigaton, an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons (1 gigaton) by the year 2030, and the retailer asked brand partners to join them in this challenge. Colgate embraced the call and went beyond with a program that called on consumers to save water when brushing their teeth.

Colgate realized that, by contributing to the project, for most suppliers it meant reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing process, but for Colgate-Palmolive, 90% of their carbon footprint came from consumers using their products – to the tune of 172 billion gallons of water while brushing teeth annually, according to internal research. This insight gave Colgate a way to build a program around its impact that could serve Walmart’s mission and communicate directly to shoppers.

And how do consumers help? Colgate calculated that turning off the water when brushing saves up to 4 gallons of water each time. The campaign communicated this to shoppers inside Walmart through demos that physically showed the amount of water being conserved. A motion display pumped the messaging of turning off the tap saves up to 4 gallons, and special packages of Colgate had a sticker that changed colors and reminded consumers to turn off the faucet when at home. Colgate also leveraged Michael Phelps in materials, asking shoppers to take selfies with his image on pallet displays in Action Alley. Digitally, Colgate took over the Walmart.com home page on World Water Day, and media support ran on the site during the month.

Colgate’s commitment to Project Gigaton strengthened its ties to the retailer and grabbed additional floor space for a product that’s so established and routine that it’s difficult to obtain. In fact, Colgate placed 1,200 pallets (above the goal of 1,000) and ran demos in 1,005 stores. At stores running the program, sales improved by nearly 40% over stores that didn’t. Colgate also learned that the program at Walmart alone helped save 1.2 billion gallons of water.

Members of the Path to Purchase Institute have access to a library of more than 100 case studies of Shopper Marketing Effie award-winning campaigns dating back to 2011.