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Wine to Water


How does a small water charity promote its work to consumers, fatigued by never-ending donation requests, in a surprising way?

Region North America
Practices Social Purpose and Sustainability

The Challenge

2.5 billion people worldwide lack clean water access. Wine to Water is a non-profit that raises money through wine tastings, donations and online wine sales. Its name, of course, is a twist on Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. We were tasked to come up with an original, category breakthrough way of putting the charity’s work on the map, in the run up to World Water Day, 22 March.

The Solution

We needed to engage young digital-savvy potential donors, tired of the usual charitable asks. So, we ‘invented’ the Miracle Machine: ‘the world’s first accelerated winemaking device for the home’, claiming to produce wine from water in three days. Launched as a ‘coming soon to Kickstarter’ crowd-funding project, the campaign was an elaborate hoax, involving a prototype, app and microsite. Our aim was to build anticipation, eventually reveal the truth, then ask people to donate to the ‘real miracle machine’ – a basic ceramic water filter. We needed to explain that simple solutions to the global water crisis exist, and cost little.

The Results

142% increase in website visits
6000 additional people gained access to clean water
21% increase in donations

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