Green Award Goes to Saatchi & Saatchi and Toyota

Saatchi & Saatchi partnered together with Toyota, and developed an iPhone app that won them a Green Award at a gala ceremony on December 2nd. They received the award for “Best Green Mixed Media,” they were also shortlisted for Best Green Advertising Award (Print & Outdoor) and Best Green Use of Mobile Apps and Technologies. The app, called “A Glass of Water” was designed to help people drive more economically, by challenging drivers to drive gentler. Read the full article here

Essentially one downloads this app to their iPhone, and then places the phone on their dashboard, in the cup holder, or on the passenger seat. Once the app starts, it monitors the route traveled on a map, distance traveled, drive time, average speed, idle time, and the amount of water spilled. It analyzes all of this instantly while driving. The analysis is supposed to help the driver understand where to slow down, and where to be extra cautious for maximum fuel efficiency.


This campaign was aimed at encouraging drivers to reduce fuel consumption. The idea was developed from a calculation that if all drivers drove with a glass of water on their dashboard and completed their journey without spilling it; their driving would be gentler and thus more economical, which could lower carbon dioxide emission by 2 million tons per year. The app was designed to look and act, like an actual glass of water. The application acts as a visual challenge for the driver to drive carefully enough to avoid spilling water, and thus reducing carbon emissions.

Tom Hedstrom of Saatchi & Saatchi Stockholm said, “This Green Award is a great acknowledgement of Toyota’s commitment to creative sustainability activity.” He went on to say, “We are delighted to play a part in this, and to be helping its customers make a difference by their own actions.”

What I like about this application is that it is simple, it is creative, it is challenging for the user, and it helps drivers become more aware of their actions and how those actions affect the planet. What I like the most though is that, while it is a joint effort of Saatchi & Saatchi and Toyota, the application is not a blatant advertisement of the Toyota brand. This makes it seem like Toyota is actually trying to make an effort to help out with sustainability, and taking care of our planet. Who knows if they really are, but it seems that way.

In a world full of “greenwashing” advertisements, this effort does not appear to be one of them. Greenwashing is a term used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. This product is not claiming Toyota is one thing or another, it is simply a fun tool sponsored by Toyota that helps consumers be more mindful of their actions.

An important safety note, Apple has this disclaimer about the app, “Because your safety is important to us, we recommend that once you start the app you should keep your eyes on the road, not on the display. Once you’ve reached your destination and come to a full stop, you can safely analyze your results.”


The Green Guerilla