I like my showers how I like my women. Long-lasting and piping hot. Once I step inside the warmth of the shower, it’s hard to step out. The relaxing water makes me want to stay there forever. So most times I do. Well, for like 15 minutes. When the water turns lukewarm, that’s when I shampoo.
When I finally do get out and dry off, I brush my teeth. Like I’ve told my dentist, I’ll brush for at least 2 minutes, with the water flowing like wine. In those 2 minutes, my brush will see the water maybe 10 times…for about 1 second each time.
I waste a lot of water.
But that all changed several months ago.
I began working on a gamut of different jobs across a gamut of different media platforms for 2 different utility companies. And the messages being marketed were all the same: Save water. Save energy. Weeks on end I was drowning in jobs about conserving water. And losing energy from writing about different ways to save energy. Take shorter showers. Turn your thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, 85 when away. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes. Use ceiling fans to cool your home. Turn the sink off while you brush your teeth. Install efficient CFLs. Every day I was finding different ways to communicate the same tips over and over…and over. And slowly, these tips began seeping their way into my every thought.
So I began following them. I cut my showers from 15 minutes to 5. When I brushed my teeth, the sink was dryer than Willie Nelson’s mouth after eating a bowl of hair-flavored dog food. When the temperature outside warmed up, I left my AC off and used fans to keep cool. I thought about buying CFL bulbs.
The point is, if you’re exposed to something long enough, it can change your behavior. It’s social marketing at its finest. In a lot of cases, its success relies on how frequently people see the messaging. And more importantly, where they see it. Only buying traditional media isn’t going to cut it. You have to tailor your messaging to reach your customers specifically. Because it’s not just advertising anymore. It’s marketing.