DC Water


Integrated Marketing Campaign


Campaign Description

DC Water engaged SRB Communications to design and build a consumer-facing campaign to increase brand awareness and educate customers about the key role that water plays in our daily lives and the importance of maintaining the city’s water infrastructure. The campaign was a result of one year of planning, strategic development and tactical execution. SRB’s team of experts developed a cross-platform integrated marketing campaign that revolved around the use of traditional and digital experiences for education and engagement, including the development and promotion of the Hydrate DC digital hub that acted as an educational resource center. Via the hub, we engaged targeted audiences with enhanced digital experiences that included a “What’s Your D.C. Persona” interactive quiz, engaging video brand assets and SEO-friendly long-form blog articles.

The Work

We set out to achieve brand awareness in the D.C. community and to educate the public about DC Water’s commitment to water safety, while engaging customers with enhanced experiences across multiple online channels. With the development of the Hydrate DC launch campaign video and a well-designed digital hub, we tracked website performance and customer user journeys from the campaign ads to the various pages. The digital hub consisted of an educational online resource inclusive of interactive quizzes, brand campaign assets and informational content. We set out to drive the local D.C. community to the hub and engage them with valuable resources on the importance of investing in a modernized infrastructure. All this led to the optimization of the campaign to make more informed, data-driven recommendations moving forward.

COVID-19 Programming

As the D.C. community came together to combat COVID-19, DC Water sought to ensure that customers and water safety were the utility’s top priority. Luckily, the utility company was well positioned to communicate critical information about the way water can help keep customers keep safe during the pandemic. Instead of pausing the campaign like many other brands did during this time, DC Water adjusted Hydrate DC creative messaging. That strategy helped to keep the water utility and the importance of a modernized water infrastructure top-of-mind among customers during the global health pandemic.


The Hydrate DC campaign drove impressive results, helping the brand build to build trust among customers and priming the market for news on 2020 rate increases achieving higher than average completion rates of the Hydrate DC brand campaign video and above industry average click-through-rates of the ad campaigns, effectively educating the market on the value of water.

  • Display ad click-thru-rates continually increased over the course of the campaign.
  • The campaign overall had a 0.38% CTR (almost 3 times the industry average). Video completion rates of brand video were excellent across the various creative lengths. The 30-second video performed as well as the 15-second video indicating users were engaged enough to watch the entire video.
  • Facebook campaigns performed better than average with a 2.09% CTR surpassing benchmark, which was lower than 1% for Facebook ads at the time.
  • Facebook ads achieved a total of 14,948 clicks.
  • During the campaign as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, budget was reallocated to COVID-19 creative and brand messaging, which proved to be very successful for the remainder of the campaign.
  • During the length of the campaign, 36% of website traffic was redirected from the Facebook ad campaigns (6,771 users). Ads running on OTT devices accounted for another 11%.
  •  Outside of the homepage, the Coronavirus Update page had the 2nd highest amount of traffic easily with 11.53% of site visitors.
  •  COVID-19 content aside, the What’s Your DC Persona quiz gained some attention with almost 400 clicks.
  • 50% month-over-month increase in visitation to the Hydrate DC digital hub