by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Do you sing in the shower? Sanlam, City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism and King James Group think you should — and here’s a song or two to keep that shower short and save water.

Sanlam and its ad agency King James has teamed up with Cape Town to help motivate people to save more water than ever before. The Western Cape is experiencing one of its worst droughts in recorded history, and Capetonians have had stringent water restrictions put in place to try and avert a crisis. In an attempt to encourage people to reduce water usage voluntarily, the Cape municipality has embarked on several campaigns to raise awareness. Two-thirds of water consumption, reportedly, is by the residential sector so, although business, industry and government have been asked to limit consumption, the city also has to create ongoing awareness among ordinary people of the need to save water, and the latest target the city has set is 87l per person per day.

One of the obstacles that the city has found has been a kind of ‘conservation fatigue’; for a long time now, people have been encouraged to save water, and it feels for many that there is no reward at the end of the road. Enter Sanlam, which is injecting some fresh impetus into motivating people to save water. The financial services provider has its headquarters in Cape Town, so it’s no wonder the crisis is something that has pushed some buttons at the company. The idea is not so much to raise awareness as to provide a practical solution that everyone may take part in, and have fun while doing so.

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Showers are typically the home’s third-largest users of water, after toilets and washing machines. The average shower flows at almost 8l per minute so, if you’re spending 10 minutes in there, that’s 80l down the drain. (By the way, the average bath is 136l, so the tub is out of bounds for Capetonians, at least for a while.) If everyone were to reduce the time taken to shower, including turning off the water while soaping, shampooing and scrubbing, thousands of litres of the precious liquid would be saved. The campaign? A ‘two-minute shower song’. Simply download a song from one of the participating artists, and jump in the shower. If you manage to finish your daily bathing by the time the song ends, well done! Sanlam also provides other water-saving tips on its website.

A broad cross-section of SA music artists took to the studio to create special two-minute tracks of some of their best-known songs for you to sing along to. There’s Mi Casa with the funky song “Nana”; GoodLuck’s pop song “Taking it Easy”; venerable oldies of SA rock, the Springbok Nude Girls, with a zany song called “Bubblegum on my Boots”; rapper Youngsta with “Wes Kaap”, Jimmy Nevis crooning “Daydream”, and even alt-rockers Desmond and the Tutus singing “Teenager.” Francois van Coke, Rouge, Fifi Cooper and Kwesta have also contributed tracks. It’s a broad range so, whatever your taste in popular music, there’s bound to be something for you.

The campaign has even caught the attention of TIME, which featured it in the world/climate change section of the website this month.

This is a great campaign —it communicates a simple message, in a fun way, with a clear call to action. Even if people don’t go to the trouble of downloading the song, at least this will make them that much more aware of how they may help in a small way, every single day, by just keeping the shower short. (It may also ease tensions in the morning, if you’re living in a household with more family members than bathrooms.) So, hop into that shower, and sing. And remember: every second — and every drop — counts.


Agency: King James Group
Chief creative officer: Alistair King
Executive creative directors: Damian Bonse, Dan Pinch
Creative directors: Damian Bonse, Jared Osmond
Copywriters: Susan van Rooyen, Emma Drummond, Kirsti Rivett, Jared Osmond
Art directors: Moe Kekana, Damian Bonse
Production: Ananda Swanepoel, Kathi Jones
Client service: Sean Hanekom, Kirsten Bohle, Qanita Smith, Roxy Hancke, Yonela Bungane, Rosie Frost
Senior digital project managers: Rehaanah Hendricks, Emma Rasmussen
Website: Genie Botha, Pete Blaszkiewicz, Chloe Igo, Liezl Fourie, Dan Zoeller
PR: Lauren Volmink, Bukelwa Monqo, Julie Etheridge, Samantha Corbett
Music production company: We Love Jam
Music producer: Jeremy de Tolly
Music supervisor: All ten artists did their own songs. De Tolly did masters for their tracks.



Oresti PatriciosAd of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at

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