Marketing and Comms
Colgate Taps Michael Phelps to Inspire Consumers to Turn Off the Faucet

Water scarcity and shortage is a growing problem that affects around three billion people across the globe and climate change is only serving to aggravate the already acute issue. While businesses will play an important role in reducing environmental impacts for water resource depletion, changing consumer attitudes is critical in order to truly address and find solutions for the issue. Yet the many people are unaware of water scarcity issues, as well as their own consumption habits. In an effort to raise awareness for water conservation, Colgate has tapped Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to be the new global ambassador for its ‘Save Water’ campaign with The Nature Conservancy.

As Colgate aimed to do with its 2016 Super Bowl ad, "Every Drop Counts," the new campaign aims to prompt consumers to take action against water waste with small habit changes such as turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth. By leaving the water running while brushing their teeth four two minutes, the average American can waste up to four gallons of potable drinking water. Colgate and The Nature Conservancy hope that together with Phelps, they will be able to reach 100 million people and inspire 10 million children to change their brushing habits. If broadly embraced, the simple change could have a major impact on both water and energy consumption.

Colgate will roll out three short-form documentaries featuring Phelps this summer to educate consumers about water issues in the U.S. and spread the message that every drop counts. The company also intends to share the message through its Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures oral health education program.

“Colgate is committed to making every drop of water count,” said Lori Michelin, VP of Sustainability and EHS at Colgate-Palmolive. “We work consistently to reduce our water-use footprint and have avoided enough water consumption in manufacturing to fill nearly 20,000 competition-sized swimming pools since 2002. That said, 90 percent of Colgate’s current water-use footprint comes from the consumer use of our products, so we’re asking everyone to help.”

In addition to turning off the faucet while brushing, individuals can spread awareness using #EveryDropCounts on social media and by learning more at


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