Vodafone and Kinetic Worldwide in India are partnering for a creative initiative to showcase how advertising can be used for social good in the region.
The "Recharge with Rainwater" project consists of a network of five Vodafone billboards that harvest rainwater by utilizing U-curved aluminum sheets as collection funnels on top of the billboards. The funnels are channeled through tubes to water tanks installed at the bottom of each board, which stores the collected rainwater.
Each tank has been installed with Vodafone sim card-based water sensor technology. Once the tanks are full, an SMS is sent directing pick up of the water, which is transferred to water tankers and taken to farms for field and crop irrigation.
While many of the billboards currently advertise Vodafone, they are designed to support any brand or marketer, says the agency.
These five billboards have gathered and donated more than 20,000 liters of water to the farmers of Wadebolai Village in Maharashtra since July.
Vodafone envisions this project as a long-term initiative. "At Vodafone India, we believe environmental sustainability is priority for growth, and we’re excited to launch such an innovative initiative in partnership with Kinetic,” said Ashish Chandra, business head, Vodafone India.
Using billboards to collect water for sustainability projects is a relatively new use of the ad medium. In 2013, FCB Mayo and BPN Peru partnered with The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) to create a billboard that captures moisture from the air and converts it into filtered drinking water.