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Mobile gamers help to beat the drought

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Digitata Insights has partnered with laundry brand Sunlight on a water-saving awareness campaign that will result in the practical outcome of the delivery of 120 000 litres of potable water to the drought-stricken Western Cape.
A mobile phone-driven gamification campaign, Sunlight Smart Water Savers, is based on the re-engineering of the popular Sunlight hand washing powder to include a “smart” foam that reduces rinse water usage by half.
The water savings that result hold direct benefits to consumers living in remote or under-served areas by cutting down on the time and effort involved in fetching water for domestic purposes.
Jane Fenner, Laundry South Africa director at Unilever, says: “Many South Africans have water limitations when it comes to domestic use. With laundry continuing to be an essential household chore, South Africans are now aware that they do not need to use as much water in the hand wash process. They are thinking about how they can save water and re-use water when they do laundry.
“Initially, the biggest challenge in shifting laundry behaviour was changing the way water was being used in the hand-wash process. We had to re-iterate that water is a limited resource and place strong focus on ensuring more water is available for generations to come.”
Taking the impact of the “Smartfoam” further, the Sunlight Smart Water Savers gamification campaign is designed to entrench pro-active water wisdom by providing education of consumers with games.
Digitata Insights’ digital and mobile specialists have created a game that can be downloaded on both feature and smart phones. Using the six top tips for easy domestic water saving, players move through a number of levels to earn points that can be converted into airtime.
“In essence, the Sunlight Smart Water Savers game is way for people to have fun while they learn how to help the country,” says Digitata Insights’ chief marketing officer, Henk Swanepoel. “Even if infrastructure were available for every household to have running water, as the 30th driest country in the world, we’ll always need to be super careful with water usage.
“By gamifying that crucial principle and, in the process, encouraging people to use a water-saving product, digital and washing powder technologies are working together to embed water awareness at every level of society.”
As people progress through the Sunlight Smart Water Savers game, they collect digital buckets of water. Unilever will then match the litres represented by the buckets with an equivalent amount of actual water delivered to Western Cape communities.
Users can play the free Water Savers Game on Vodacom and MTN on their mobile phones in one of five languages using USSD, so there are no data costs.
To download it, Vodacom users dial *117*4863# and MTN users dial *136*777#