Since 2004, Hong Kong-based NGO Lotus Light Charity Society has been raising funds for the construction of rain capturing wells for the impoverished, water-deprived residents of North West China, one of the most arid regions of the world. Despite growth in the overall economy and increased concern over environmental issues throughout the region, the growth rate for donations to LLCS had remained flat since the organisation's establishment. The brand sought to improve public awareness of the problem of water shortage and spur a bump in fundraising.
To convey the idea that there are not enough water cellars in Northwest China to meet residents' daily needs, the agency co-opted the plastic umbrella bags that are supplied at shopping centres on rainy days across Hong Kong. An illustration of a bucket, cup or bowl was printed on the bottom of the bag. As water began to drip off the user's umbrella into the plastic sleeve the vessel would appear to fill and the accompanying printed messages - i.e., "In China's arid regions a child gets less water than this in a day" - became clear, conveying the client's mission in a tangible and provocative way.
Various local media outlets picked up the campaign and the average annual donation growth rate, which had been fixed at 10 per cent for the last few years, jumped to 13.3 per cent. As a result, 5,300 new water cellars were built in Northwest China in 2009, an increase of 7.5 per cent from the year prior.