UNICEF and Gothia Cup, the world's largest youth soccer tournament, wanted to highlight children's right to clean drinking water. The activity needed to be eye-catching as well as though-provoking, engaging tournament visitors while spreading the word about just how difficult life is when you don't have access to clean, safe drinking water.
We proposed the integrated campaign Sweat for Water. Central to the campaign was the world's first sweat machine - which we built together with Swedish mechatronic engineer Andreas Hammar. At one end of the machine you throw in some sweaty shirts and at the other drips purified water into a glass. Magic. And a good trade-off - sweat for clean water.
To make sure we had a considerable amount of sweat we offered a ride on exercise bikes. In addition to submitting their sweaty shirts we called on young people, volunteers and sponsors to drink sweat and with every glass, sponsors bought water purification tablets to UNICEF. The brave who drank sweat were duly celebrated, photographed, and ended up on Instagram and the Gothia Cup website.
The Sweat Machine quickly became a global phenomenon. The earned media reach, a month after launch, is more than one billion (!).
Frontpage on BBC News, top story on the BBC radio programme The Newsroom - broadcasted all over the world, Fast Company, Popular Science, Daily Mail, Discovery, The Independent, Buzzfeed, China Daily, Corriere Della Sera, tweet from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, frontage on msnNOW, The Huffington Post. There are too many media from all over the word - India, Spain, Brazil, Finland, Bulgaria - you name it - to be able to name them all here.
The news about the UNICEF Sweat Machine has so far, through Twitter alone, a potential reach of more than 93 million.
Swedish soccer national team members players Kim Källström and Tobias Hysén drank from the machine and contributed with sweaty shirts.
The Sweat for Water campaign was Pick of the Day on Creativity.
Hardly anyone passing by the machine could resist snapping a photo to show their friends online or offline.
Sweat for Water and everyone engaging in the campaign contributed with enough water purification tablets to clean nearly 23 750 000 liters of water.
2290 people at Gothia Cup drank purified sweat - and together with people engaging with the news about the Sweat Machine - spread the word about the lack of clean drinking water across the globe.
Sanjay Wijesekera, Associate Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF, New York.: "We are thrilled that this campaign has made such an impact, making it one of the most successful public awareness campaigns we have had to date highlighting the importance of clean water to children’s health and development"
More than 780 million people worldwide lack access to clean water. Help UNICEF and contribute to a better world here: http://unicef.se/ge-pengar/ge-en-gava.