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Find your perfect match and stay hydrated in London

#HowDoYouDrinkYours is a behaviour change campaign developed for the OneLess Design Fellowship and was exhibited at the London Design Festival 2018 alongside a range of other design solutions, each with the intention of catalysing a culture water bottle refill in London.

#HowDoYouDrinkYours is designed to accompany and complement the Mayor’s installation of tens of new public water foundations across the capital and existing services like the Refill app. The campaign touchpoints I have considered include a visual identity, iconic public posters, and a viral crowd-sourced social media campaign.

Research methods
Along with secondary research to understand the context, the main insights that shaped this project emerged from informal, open conversations with ordinary people on the streets of London. During the summer of 2018, I spoke to no less than 20 people, from both camps: those who still use single-use bottles and those who carry their own refillable bottle already.

Exhibition posters visualising background research

Insight #1: from education to behaviour change
To date, publicity has been framed around education, both on the issues of disposable plastics (the ‘war on plastic’, Blue Planet etc.), and the availability and safety of tap water ( My research revealed that no matter how educated people are, the tipping point in the user journey for behaviour change (ie. ditching single use), was getting your own refillable bottle. If you don’t have a bottle, you can’t refill.

Design response: The #HowDoYouDrinkYours campaign shifts and narrows the focus from education to one simple call to action. It gives people credit that they most likely already know what they should be doing, and nudges them to actually take that pivotal, individual step towards a collective refill culture by selecting their vessel of choice.

Insight #2: a bottle for everyone 
Speaking to people about what bottle they had, highlighted that people choose their particular vessel for many different reasons, personal to them. Maybe they could put it on their bike or fit it in their handbag, or they prefer filtered water, or being able to see the water inside. 

Design response: Rather than promoting one particular bottle design, the visual language and message of the campaign celebrates the variety of refillable bottles, inviting people to find their own personal match.

Insight #3: leveraging social media networks & semiotics
Through online platforms it is possible to crowd-source content for social approval, so that an audience takes ownership of a campaign. Examples in the UK range from the commercial, such as the long-running ad campaign for Cadbury’s Cream Eggs ‘How do you eat yours?’, to the viral charity ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Combine this with the culture of routinely expressing binary judgements on everything from the banal to the highly personal, (liking on Facebook, ‘hearting’ on Instagram, swiping right/left on tinder), and you have a powerful tool for social change.

Design response: Already in the UK a third of us use a refillable bottle. #HowDoYouDrinkYours would leverage these existing champions of refill, inviting them to upload a selfie with their bottle for social approval. They would then nominate someone in their social network to do the same. It would act as a form of public peer pressure and social approval to build refill culture as a social norm, and single-use a socially unacceptable behaviour.

Insight #4: leveraging existing channels
Transport for London serves over 5 million people everyday - over half of London’s population. Since its inception in TfL has evolved a respected voice for safety and cooperation on the capital’s transport network through its strong visual design style.

Design response: This first iteration of a #HowDoYouDrinkYours poster is designed to echo the TfL style, with the intention of promoting refill as the socially accepted behaviour on public transport in London. Ideally they would be designed in collaboration with TfL for official endorsement.

year: 2018 (summer)