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.