Dow Chemical Maps Out Plight Of Unsafe Drinking Water

Dow Chemical teamed up with National Geographic magazine for the next phase of its "The Human Element" campaign.

Last year's campaign mixed pictures of people with a symbol you won't find on the periodic table of elements: Hu, the human element.

In this year's take, Dow created a sponsored wall-sized map to draw attention to the shortage of safe drinking water in many countries and Dow's sponsorship of the Blue Planet Run Foundation.

The Blue Planet Run began June 1 and features an international team of 20 runners running for 24 hours a day in 10-mile individual segments for 95 days, raising both money and awareness for the cause of safe drinking water.

The map can be found in the latest issue of National Geographic, with approximately 5 million copies stateside and 650,000 European issues.

The Dow Water Map shows a factual representation of the amount of safe water that exists in the world, how quickly it's depleting, and what to expect in the future.

The backside of the map discusses Dow's relationship with the Blue Planet Run and ways for people to become involved.

Draft/FCB made the map into smaller ad units running in the June issues of The New Yorker and U.S. News & World Report.

The best part of the campaign is the interactive element. The map can be found online on the National Geographic Web site. Dow sponsors the entire page and it really puts the lack of clean drinking water into more of a, dare I say, human perspective, than the print component.

Clicking on one of the countries brings up a summary of the country's particular problems with safe water, how they're being addressed, the number of people affected, and pictures as well.

There's also a 10-question quiz that tests how water-wise a person is, along with related National Geographic articles about the world water crisis.