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Friday, June 12, 2015

Come On, Team, Let's Make Water Conservation Sexy!

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • Shutterstock: nvelichko

San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission has just launched a new marketing campaign meant to make water conservation sexy. This is a transcript of the meeting at which the legendary SF Marketing Guru proposed that strategy.

Water, as I'm sure you know, is more than just an essential ingredient of life: it's a brand identity crisis for San Francisco. We're the city of fog! The City by the Bay! Why did all those millions of people come to see the America's Cup? I'll tell you: water! The only thing worse to San Francisco's brand than a drought would be finding out that the '60s also happened in the Midwest.

First housing, then children, now water: When did San Francisco become a city that runs out of things? Obviously if San Francisco gets a reputation for having a drought, it will hurt the tourism industry, and that hurts us all, including the people who still live here, whoever they are. So I think we have just two choices: Either find a way to get people to conserve water, or make water so expensive that we run out faster than the rest of the nation. It's one thing if Google's hedge fund managers buy up Hetch Hechy because water is meritocratic. That's awesome. Let's see New York do that. But just running out? Like we're Albuquerque? That's death, people, and not just literally.

Kristopher and Tammy are working ways to monetize water as an investment commodity, and I'm sure we'll be seeing great thing from them. If they can turn parking spaces into something rich lawyers get into bidding wars over on mobile apps, they can do it with H20. Maybe something about leasing out your tap as part of the sharing economy? Uber for showers? Somebody write that down! Anyway, they won't rest until every time you pour a glass of water a venture capitalist buys it out from under you, fixes it up, and flips it for twice the cost.

But until then, our team needs to come up with a killer campaign to convince San Franciscans to conserve water. It'll be like environmentalism, only hip and urban. Endangered species are so '90s. I hate them. And don't even get me started on trees. You know who sleeps under them? Homeless people. It's funny, a couple of years ago we ran a campaign to try to make homelessness more glamorous, so that more young techies would do it. And you know what? It worked. But, it turned out that they weren't glamorous at all, just homeless. Didn't solve the problem. So weird. I could totally be homeless. I once went to Burning Man without an RV.

Anyway, I've got an idea. Hear me out: Let's make water conservation sexy. Let's get people in this town so turned on that they want to use less water so that they can spend more time fucking it.

It worked for Tinder, it'll work for us.

I'm envisioning billboards and Muni advertising and signs everywhere, making double entendres about water conservation! We'll show a close up shot of a washing machine and say "Go full frontal!" Why? I don't know! It's sexy! As long as we say "conserve water" anywhere after that, the association with sex will be in their minds, and they'll be like lemmings jumping off a cliff. A very dry, erosion-prone cliff.

Here's another one: We show a shot of a street being cleaned with a broom instead of a hose, and say "Just push it!" Amazing, right? They'll be falling all over themselves not to use water, or lubricant of any kind! But make it one of those really good brooms, the ones the kids use that their parents don't understand. If there's an iBroom, use that.

Oh! Here's another one: a shot of a shower head, and we'll tell them to make their shower "Short & Steamy!" It's can't fail! It can't possibly fail! Everybody wants to screw a machine now!

It's a great idea because not only does sex sell in San Francisco, it's is pretty much the only thing that sells in San Francisco anymore. Well, that and anti-depressants. Hmmmm ... do you think we could run a campaign on the premise that conserving water will make you less depressed? No, no, you need to drink water to swallow the pills. It won't work.

So we're back to sexy, and I'm telling you, this is a winner: San Franciscans bend over for anything even vaguely erotic. Why? Because bending over is sexy, that's why! You see what they're like? If they're not having sex they're referencing sex, and if they're not referencing sex they're parodying sex, and this add does at least two of the three.

Man, I am a genius. We're going this. End of discussion. You know, they should have brought me in to end apartheid. I'm going to eat at Gary Danko, somebody reserve me a parking space.

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Benjamin Wachs


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