Creative Gallery on Sustainability Communications


"Use Only What You Need (SM) - Bus Sign" For Denver Water
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Description / Synopsis

Helping customers use only the water they need is one of Denver Water’s most important goals. The campaign has been successful because it has both educated and engaged Denver Water’s customers on the issue of using water wisely.


In 2006, the Denver Water Board of Commissioners set a new conservation goal to reduce water use to 165 gallons per person per day* by 2016. This is a 22 percent reduction from average pre-drought use of 211 gallons per person per day. **Gallons per person per day is calculated using total treated water consumed by Denver Water customers divided by the population in our service area. It includes all uses: residential, commercial, industrial and institutional.


In the spirit of using only what you need, let’s make this simple. Customers are everything. Without their efforts, providing a secure water future is an exercise in futility. But carrots work better than sticks. Playful encouragement is a lot more memorable than lectures. Using this approach, the campaign, along with some groundbreaking conservation programs, has helped reduce water consumption about 20 percent over the past six years. Not to mention, its innovative use of nontraditional media has captured the imagination of a city and acclaim around the world.


A sustained water consumption reduction of 20% has been achieved so far through the use of this campaign and other Denver Water conservation programs.

Title"Use Only What You Need (SM) - Bus Sign"
AgencySukle Advertising
AdvertiserDenver Water
Brand NameDenver Water, Use Only Waht You Need (SM)
Sustainability Themes Consumption Patterns, Education & Awareness, Freshwater
Date of First Publication 01/01/2006
Country of ProductionUnited States of America
LanguageEnglish (primary) and Spanish (secondary)
TypeOutdoor / Out of Home
TaglineUse Only What You Need (SM)
Awards -Graphis Advertising Annual, 2009 for Knotted Hose billboard
-Graphis Advertising Annual, 2009 for Broken Sprinkler billboard
-Archive Magazine (Every two months, Archive showcases 70 new and outstanding print campaigns from around the world)., 2009 for Grass is Dumb Billboards
-Communication Arts, 2009 for UOWYN Mobile Billboard
-Communication Arts (the largest international trade journal of visual communications)., 2007 for Knotted Hose billboard
-OBIES, 2009 for Broken Sprinkler and Knotted Hose billboards
-OBIES, 2008 for Elevator billboard
-OBIES, 2008 for Be Stingy, Conserve, Give a Damn billboards
-OBIES (One of the oldest and prestigious advertising honors - presented for excellence in outdoor advertising), 2007 for OUWYN logo
-The Venice Festival of Media, 2008 (One of 34 campaigns recognized in the world) for Use Only What You Need (SM) campaign
-American Water Works Association, 2009 (Public Communications Achievement Award) for Conservation Program
-Denver Ad Club, 2012 (One of the 50 best ideas produced in Denver in 2011) for How Much It Really Needs concepts
Account Director: Steve Moran
Account Executive: Mackie  Sweatman
Creative Team: Mike Sukle