A social experiment stunt, conducted by Stella Artois and Matt Damon’s water.org, illustrates the way so many of us take water – a basic human necessity – for granted.
The digital video, called The Wait for Water, challenged people to imagine their everyday lives without access to clean water.
The video, launched to coincide with Stella Artois and Water.org’s 2017 campaign, highlights the reactions of unsuspecting people in the UK, and around the world, when they are told that water won’t be available to them for up to six hours – the amount of time on average women in the developing world spend collecting water each day.
The hidden camera experiment was conducted in a hotel in London – as well as a restaurant in New York and a café in Uruguay. In each situation, customers who ask for water are told that none is available, sparking a range of reactions from bewildered to incensed. The resulting video, featuring Water.org co-founder Matt Damon, illustrates the way so many of us take water – a basic human necessity – for granted.
“We’ve learned this issue is hard for many people to relate to because clean, accessible water is a constant presence in their lives,” said Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org. “Yet for millions around the world, this isn’t the case. Our challenge is to help create that understanding.”
“It was important for us to take a fresh approach, putting the issue into people’s everyday lives in a provocative way, to inspire them to think about it differently and take action,” said Jason Warner, President, North Europe, AB InBev. “Since 2015, our partnership with Water.org has provided more than a million people in the developing world with access to five years of clean water, and we’re excited to continue this momentum. But we also wanted to involve as many people as possible in the UK in helping to end the global water crisis, making it easy to donate as part of their usual routine – their usual shopping trip or pub visit. So, for the next month, when you buy a pint, bottle or can of Stella Artois, you give someone in the developing world a month’s clean water . It’s that simple.”
The partnership launched in 2015 in the UK, as well as the U.S., Canada, Belgium, and Argentina, and uses Stella Artois’ global footprint to raise awareness and spark action to engage in the cause. The campaign has since doubled the number of participating markets to 10 countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and Uruguay.
And, in 2017, Stella Artois and Water.org announced a new four-year commitment to help provide 3.5 million people with long-term, sustainable access to clean water by 2020.
The partnership is also enabling Water.org to expand support to new countries like Brazil and Mexico, a country in which, as of 2015, only 14% of the population had access to piped water 24 hours a day. Water.org is already laying the foundation for household level impact in 2019.