Water scarcity is one of the great challenges, and 22 March was World Water Day. To bring attention to real-life water problems, what better than a reality shock through the first online global drought?

A drought disaster hit over 45 million online farmers around the planet upon opening their Farmerama game accounts on World Water Day. A farmer could continue playing, or end the virtual drought by passing on the message or making a donation for low-cost pumps, water tanks, tubing and other supplies for poor farmers.

Ideas – unlike water – are an unlimited resource that can travel at warp speed. This one, being shareable on Facebook, engages a much wider audience than online farmers. And it allows for donors to contribute, with donations passed directly to the UN to finance practical help for farmers in developing countries.

The campaign is creativity, mystery and relevance hard at work, bringing home with a wallop the daily shock felt by real farmers facing erratic rainfall, to a largely affluent western online community not used to dealing with problems like water shortage.

Thumbs up to Saatchi & Saatchi Frankfurt for its creative chops and for working on a neat World Water Day campaign with Farmerama’s creator Bigpoint to help the UN call attention to water scarcity and the problems of real life farmers around the world.

And while we’re talking water issues, check out this innovation, China’s “all natural toilet of the future.”

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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