WeHo’s Latest Video Uses Fantasy to Warn of the Drought’s Reality

It may be inspired by fantasy, but the City of West Hollywood’s latest public service video is meant to warn local residents of the very real threat of severe drought.

The video is titled “Winter is Coming! But the Drought is Far From Over.” Designed as a mock TV-series preview trailer, the video is based on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” The one-minute experience takes audiences on a dramatic journey — instead of traveling through the mythical land of Westeros, viewers travel on a storybook tour of what West Hollywood may look like when the water runs out. Its message is direct: “Drought is Here. Our Water May Soon Be Gone. Conserve.”

The video is part of the city’s new water-conservation effort, which also includes a campaign called “Keep it Dirty,” featuring provocative imagery including a soapy stud, a burly beefcake, a little red dress and stilettos in the driver’s seat. Each creative comes complete with a suggestive water conservation message:

The campaign features four distinct ads that encourage people to use less water and #bethesolution:

1) Keep it dirty — Wash your car monthly instead of weekly and save up to 4,000 gallons of water each year.

2) Go full frontal — Upgrade to a front-loading high-efficiency washer for water savings and rebates;

3) Have a morning quickie — Keep your showers to 5 minutes or less and save up to 15 gallons of water each time, and

4) Go fully loaded — Wash only full loads of dishes and save up to 50 gallons of water per week.

Advertising will be featured in local print and online publications and on transit-shelter ads located throughout the City of West Hollywood.

Recent record-breaking high temperatures remind people that California remains in a severe drought. Despite predictions of El Niño conditions and wet winter weather, the state is still facing one of the most severe droughts on record. In Los Angeles County conditions are particularly severe — the region has recently experienced one of the lowest amounts of rainfall on record. In January 2014, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 20 percent. In April 2015, Governor Brown issued mandatory water restrictions for the first time in California history.

The City of West Hollywood has, during the past two years, intensified efforts to use less water and to promote conservation. The city’s new campaign follows the its “Prescription” campaign, which used catchy “doctor’s orders” to communicate tips to use less water.

“In the months since Governor Brown announced mandatory water reductions, Californians have stepped up and cut back. West Hollywood has reduced its municipal water usage by getting the word out to residents and businesses that water conservation is a top priority,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath. “Saving water must be a year-round effort; it is as important during cooler winter months as it is during a hot summer. We need to keep reminding our community, in creative ways, that the drought is not over.”

“The City of West Hollywood is committed to conserving water during this drought — the third driest in 119 years,” said City Council member Lauren Meister. “In addition to developing this vibrant and educational ad campaign to raise awareness of new drought mitigation measures and regulations, my hope is that we, as a city, can be more diligent in finding ways to conserve water, particularly when it comes to future planning and land use.”

The “Winter is Coming!” video is being released in partnership with “Change the Course,” a first-of-its-kind water sustainability campaign that leverages its partners — Participant Media, National Geographic Society and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation — to engage communities in understanding how daily choices affect our water footprint and to inspire people to take action to conserve water. Viewers of the video will have the opportunity to take the free pledge of support and #changethecourse via text-message (text WEHO to 77177) to restore 1,000 gallons of water to endangered rivers.

“Winter is Coming” is the latest in a series of videos about public issues that the city has created to reach audiences beyond those usually addressed with mailed flyers. “The WeHoan’s” was a humorous three-part series that took its inspiration from Saturday Night Live’s “Californians” to warn drivers of a temporary blockage of San Vicente Boulevard for construction. “Alice in WeHoLand” featured YouTube sensation Todrick Hall along with renowned drag queen Willam Belli in a sexy and funny message about pedestrian crosswalk safety. Each of those videos has attracted hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

West Hollywood residents and businesses are served by two water utility companies: Beverly Hills Public Works and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Both utility companies are urging customers to cut back water usage.

For more information about water conservation — including tips and links, visit www.weho.org/waterconservation.
For more information about the Change the Course campaign, visit www.changethecourse.us.

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PeteP
PeteP
6 years ago

I’m not sure why WeHo keeps wasting so much money on stupid videos. We’ve seen elaborate videos produced by Todrick Hall, the inane WeHoians videos and now this. While this money is being wasted, WeHo still does not have a traffic signal control system and everyone is waiting for the City to install real pedestrian crossing signals along SMB. Priorities.

By the way, to fine7660, I thought the BRE had rules that laundry equipment contracts can’t exceed 5 years. Look into it.

Caboom
Caboom
6 years ago

The Design district sits above a very shallow water table. All of the construction from the PDC Red building to the Library building and any new significant construction hits the water table. It is anywhere from 15-20 feet below the surface. The state and city require all construction that pumps shallow water table water to be filtered and tested before being released into the storm drains. The new construction project on La peer which is 27 feet deep is filtering, then testing and then pumping out drinkable pure water at a rate of 180 gallons per minute into the ocean.… Read more »

Mike Dolan
Mike Dolan
6 years ago

There is a Design District Streetscape Master Plan that would cover Beverly Blvd. and Melrose Ave. All medians will be redone using drought tolerant plants and landscaping. Also there is already in planning for the replanting of all of the medians for Santa Monica Blvd. All again drought tolerant and landscaping that requires little to no water.

JJ
JJ
6 years ago

I wish they would put less money into this kind of crap and more in re-landscaping our medians with drought tolerant plantings. What about faux grass down the medians? We’d never have to water them again!

Mike Dolan
Mike Dolan
6 years ago

The communications department at City Hall has really done an exceptional job with this PSA. The state of California has consistently exceeded its target water reduction and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which includes West Hollywood has meet and exceeded its target water reduction and continues this trend. Good point @fine7760, everywhere excess water usage is happening should be reported. The water department has programs for landlords to install low-flow toilets, shower heads as does CES. Why not have an incentive that would have landlords replace old water guzzlers appliances too. I love Game of Thrones and… Read more »

luca d
luca d
6 years ago

are you kidding me? just reported that we have done a magnificent job of cutting back on our water usage. why are we wasting money on this public relations garbage?
and where are the state leaders on the matter, as it relates to purchasing water from out of state. really? we are excited about water on mars, and we can’t cobble together a plan to bring water to southern california? mr. mulholland didn’t seem to have any obstacles in his way way back when.

fine7760
6 years ago

In the condo I live in we have the same washers that were here when I moved in 1988. The problem is were stuck in a long term contract either the board approved or the management company screwed up. They are keeping it quite.

If the City of West Hollywood was really serous about saving water they would outlaw these kinds of relics from the past. I’m sure others are caught in the same predicament either by contract or cheap landlords.

Disco Dan
Disco Dan
6 years ago

Excellent PSA ! But will WeHo residents take heed ? I doubt it.

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