Know the Cost (Campaign)



IBM and The Weather Channel launched a ground-breaking campaign to bring attention to global water scarcity that affects over two billion people.

Audience: Anyone interested in helping save the planet
Partner: The Mill


In a world where we are often unaware of the amount of water it takes to make the things we love...Water scarcity isn’t just a far-off problem, it’s something that we all have a hand in and can do something about.

On June 5, 2019, World Environment Day, The Weather Channel made a radical change. For three days, they changed their name to The Water Channel as part of the huge initiative to raise awareness of the cost of water.

To support this change, we created a campaign called #KnowTheCost in The Weather Channel’s hometown of Atlanta, GA–freezing objects in the amount of water it took to produce them to allow people to visualize the amount of water utilized to make the things we eat, use and buy every day.


Campaign Elements:

  • An App for Good: Every time people checked their forecast on The Weather Channel app or, they unlocked clean water for people in need.

  • Custom Installation: We designed an environmentally responsible #KnowTheCost installation in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to show the water cost of everyday items we use like a t-shirt, latte, soccer ball and kids toy. In total, 43.5 three-hundred-pound blocks of ice were used to give visual context to water usage and, more importantly, water scarcity.

  • Mini Doc and Promos

  • Know the Cost Chrome Browser Extension: Available on the Chrome web store, this plug-in replaces the monetary cost with the water cost of thousands of items on Amazon and Amazon Prime Now, while serving up facts about water scarcity. Download it here:



Thousands of people attended the live event

Social posts featuring our film from the event drove more than 550,000 views and 16,000 engagements — organically

For more details on the campaign, visit IBM’s Think Blog.