When creativity goes beyond the conceptual: Making water out of thin air

It was the Roman poet Horace that said: "Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant."

Sometimes the sayings of old really do speak to the present generation anew.

We think this creative campaign conceived by ad agency Mayo DraftFCB for Peru’s Universidad de Ingenéria & Tecnologia  (UTEC) personifies that marriage of old-world philosophy and cutting-edge, out of the box creativity – with a little bit of philanthropy thrown into the mix.

The University needed an attention-grabbing campaign to tempt prospective students for its 2013 academic year intake. So it engaged the services of the Lima-based ad agency, which, with the real problem of the lack of drinking water in the region firmly in mind, came up with the idea of a billboard for advertising water that actually produces it out of thin (well, water-saturated, to be precise) air.

With a plan in place, Mayo DraftFCB put some local resources to work: the agency’s creativity, the University’s brainpower and technological knowhow, and the climatological reality of almost zero rainfall in an area of almost 100 percent humidity.

The result? A billboard that converts the humid air into drinkable water, producing up to 100 liters a day. With a population of up to 9 million, Lima is the world’s 2nd largest desert city after Cairo, and so the benefits – particularly among the poor on the city’s outskirts – are clear as the water itself.

Mayo DraftFCB said its objectives (which we think were admirably met) were to boost interest in studying engineering at UTEC and help to prove that ad agencies could play an active part in providing solutions to real-world problems, rather that just pushing products – and clogging the landscape with billboards to do it.

Image courtesy of MAYO DRAFTFCB/UTEC

Read the full story originally covered by Time Magazine.

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