How Clorox is using Twitter to bring safe drinking water to Peru

Monday, 6 October 2014

Clorox (@Clorox) bleach is a product well known for its household cleaning power, but many people don’t realize that it can also be used to disinfect water. We talked to Molly Steinkrauss, Associate Marketing Director in Marketing Communications at @Clorox, about the company’s commitment to bring safe drinking water to 25,000 people in Peru, and how the brand is using Twitter to drive consumer awareness, engagement and support.

@TwitterAds: Tell us about this initiative. Why water, and why Peru?

Molly Steinkrauss (MS): Unsafe drinking water is a leading cause of illness, malnutrition and death for children under five worldwide. It’s an issue that’s very close to our hearts at @Clorox, so in 2012 we launched The Safe Water Project, a public health program that provides dispensers that families use to safely disinfect their drinking water with a measured dose of bleach. We also provide community health education to teach people about the importance of safe water and good hygiene practices.

We chose Peru for a few reasons. One in seven Peruvians don’t have access to safe water, so there is a real need for a solution. We also produce bleach in Peru, so our product is already on the ground there. This enables us to move quickly and efficiently and help as many people as possible.

@TwitterAds: Just this morning @Clorox made a big announcement. Can you fill us in?

MS: We are excited that we’re expanding efforts for The Safe Water Project! Over the next five years, we’ll provide 400,000 liters of safe drinking water daily to 25,000 Peruvians. For each Tweet sent with the hashtag #safewaterproject from now through the end of the year, @Clorox will donate $1 (up to $20,000 total), which is enough to provide clean water to one Peruvian for more than four months.

But that’s not all. We’re taking it a step further with the launch of our Twitter-powered water fountain at South by Southwest Eco (@sxsweco), a conference aimed at addressing today’s most pressing sustainability issues.

@TwitterAds: A Twitter-powered water fountain?

MS: Yes! We built an interactive kiosk that dispenses clean water to festival attendees. All they have to do is Tweet to @Clorox using the hashtags #safewaterproject and #fill. They will receive a unique code via direct message that can be typed into the kiosk touch screen to fill up their water bottles.

How Clorox is using Twitter to bring safe drinking water to Peru

Image used with permission of @Clorox.

Our goal is not only to raise awareness about The Safe Water Project, but do it in a way that adds value and really resonates with people. Our installation gives people a way to get fresh water during their busy day, but it also educates them on the global issue of unsafe drinking water and shows how @Clorox is making a difference.

@TwitterAds: Why did you choose Twitter to power the fountain?

MS: Twitter was the obvious choice because at an event like @sxsweco, people are on their phones Tweeting anyway. The water fountain gives them a simple call to action — Tweet with the hashtags — so it fits with what they’re already doing.

We’ll be Tweeting from @Clorox during the conference to make sure people know about the water fountain and how they can use Twitter to get water while supporting a good cause.

@TwitterAds: How are you using Twitter to raise awareness at scale?

MS: This isn’t just about connecting with people at @sxsweco — we want to raise awareness on a national level and give people a way to support our efforts. That’s why in addition to the @sxsweco water fountain, we’re donating $1 for each time the hashtag #safewaterproject is used through the end of this year, so anyone across the country can help by Tweeting.

Twitter is the natural solution because it enables us to engage our target audience, millennial consumers, on a wide scale. Millennials want to know how their favorite brands are giving back, demonstrating corporate social responsibility. With Twitter, we can reach these people and let them know about The Safe Water Project.

@TwitterAds: What’s next for @Clorox?

MS: The Safe Water Project is a big commitment from Clorox, and we’ll be working on it for at least five years. Social media will continue to be a key tactic for us to generate awareness and engage millennials throughout the program, and Twitter will definitely play a large part in the years to come.