Irish Water spends €650,000 on advertising campaign

Company’s ‘cloud to glass’ ad campaign explains process of making water drinkable

The ad shows the seven steps Irish Water says it takes to make water drinkable

The ad shows the seven steps Irish Water says it takes to make water drinkable


Seven steps and three days from “cloud to glass”. Irish Water, the utility company responsible for developing and billing for water services, is launching an eight-week advertising campaign designed to persuade consumers that drinkable water doesn’t simply fall from the sky.

The public body is spending €650,000 to highlight the role “much-needed investment” will play in delivering a clean drinking water and wastewater supply.

Designed by Irish Water’s creative agency Rothco, the campaign will run across television, radio, press, out-of-home, cinema and digital media for a period of eight weeks, coinciding with the period in which the first water bills will be sent to households.

Irish Water head of communications Elizabeth Arnett said the campaign was aimed at “everybody”, not just the households that have yet to register.

The point of the campaign, which launches on television tonight, is “to highlight some of the challenges we have” in maintaining the water supply, she said.

One out-of-home poster advertisement in the “Cloud to Glass” campaign states that it takes “up to three days and seven complex stages to make raw water drinkable” followed by the line “we’re here to keep up with demand”.

The television and cinema ads feature animations that show the treatment process from the reservoir to the tap.

“This is very much a public information campaign,” said Irish Water marketing manager Wendy Jennings. “A creative marketing campaign such as this one is very important when we have so many people to communicate with. We think this is the right campaign for now.”

The State-owned company is keen to get across the message that it is engaged in a large-scale capital investment programme to upgrade Ireland’s water infrastructure, with the aim of cutting wastage from leaks and reducing the number of boil water notices, among other things.

“More than 1.2 million households have registered with Irish Water, about 200,000 of which will not be required to pay bills because they have private wells and septic tanks. Registration means the household qualifies for the Government’s €100 water conservation grant.

About 1.5 million households are expected to receive their first water bills in April.

The utility company was dogged by controversy and criticism when it began its first communications campaign last year and the Government’s introduction of water charges remains the subject of regular protests.