Severn Trent: wonderful on tap


Key Points

  • Severn Trent wanted to educate customers on the value of water and drive behaviour change
  • They created a 90 second ad using ITV talent to provide credibility and potency
  • As a result, Severn Trent had the highest satisfaction score of all water suppliers

The Challenge

Severn Trent are a regional water company who provide clean water removal to over 4.3 million homes and businesses across the middle of the UK and are committed to improving service levels and customer satisfaction as well as addressing long term environmental needs.

The UK has a growing population and demand for water is increasing – in the 1960s, the average person used 85 litres of water per day whereas this figure has increase to 143 litres.

Severn Trent’s aim was to inform their customers that water is a precious resource and that we all have a responsibility to look after it. Their specific objectives were:

  • Maximise reach across their supply region
  • Educate customers on the value of water and the importance of the natural environment
  • Drive behaviour change to ensure the future supply of water

The TV Solution

Republic of Media, Severn Trent’s media agency, identified a core audience of people who are aware of environmental and sustainable issues, but their behaviour and actions don’t support their awareness as everyday temptations get in the way.

They decided that TV should be the lead medium because of its capacity for large scale reach, its ability to educate customers through the power of storytelling and its power to drive behaviour change on account of its being the most trusted medium.

They opted to partner with ITV, partly due to the channel’s large-scale reach and partly because there was a nice tie-in with ITV Home Planet – an ITV initiative set up to showcase sustainable products and services that can help audiences live more sustainably.  

The Plan

To encourage behaviour change, Republic of Media knew that trusted voices work well. So they enlisted the expertise of ITV Central weatherman and environmental activist Des Coleman. He provided credibility to the messaging as well as being engaging.

Republic of Media decided to align the campaign to COP26 – one of the biggest environmental events in the world and being hosted in the UK in 2021.

Featuring Des explaining why water is such a precious commodity, they produced a 90 second ad as well as 3 x 30” cutdowns, with each one aligning to a different environmental water issue. They launched with a spot in Emmerdale to drive reach. Other key spots included The Pride of Britain Awards and new drama Angela Black. Across the campaign, they accessed ITV’s environmental content such as Orkney’s – Britain’s Green Islands and spots in ITV’s regional weather provided a contextual environment.

In addition, they produced behind the scenes footage from the shoot and social cutdowns of the content, which were used across Severn Trent’s social channels and the linear campaign was supported by BVOD on the ITV Hub. 


  • The campaign reached 2.9 million adults, which equates to over 40% of adults in the ITV Central region
  • Customer satisfaction amongst those exposed to the campaign remained static vs an average decline of 5 percentage points (source: CI Campaign Tracking 2021)
  • By the end of the campaign, Severn Trent had the highest satisfaction score of all water suppliers (Source: YouGov Brand Index)
  • 65% of those who saw the advert said it gave the impression that Severn Trent are ‘environmentally conscious’ with 67% stating they were ‘more likely to help save water or reduce their impact on the climate as a result of seeing it (source: CI Campaign Tracking 2021)

We were thrilled to partner with ITV’s Home Planet. It was a brilliant opportunity for us to engage with our customers on a credible environmental platform. Through the engaging and warm creative approach, starring Des Coleman, we were able to show we’re caring for nature in our region to reduce the effects of climate change.

Emma Bird Campaigns and Marketing Manager, Severn Trent


Sector: Utilities

Brand: Severn Trent

Campaign objectives: To drive awareness that water is a precious commodity

Target Audience: All Severn Trent customers

Budget: approx. £300,000

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 1st November to 12th December 2021 in the ITV Central region

TV Usage: 60 second and 30 second TV ads

Creative Agency: ITV Creative

Media Agency:  Republic of Media

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