Sweat machine reached a record-breaking audience
Gothia Cup and UNICEF Sweden´s inventive campaign launched in Gothenburg mid July reached more than a billion people all over the world within three weeks and helped spread knowledge about the need for clean water among the children of the world.
To highlight the fact that 780 million people in the world lack access to clean water, UNICEF Sweden together with Gothia Cup, the world’s biggest youth soccer tournament and with support of the PR agency Deportivo launched a new, rather strange invention: a sweat machine. The machine transforms sweat to potable water – cleaner than the one running from the tap. Today, one month later, the campaign message has reached more than a billion people all over the world. On Twitter alone, the reach is approaching a hundred million.
– The Swedish National Committee for UNICEF’s ‘Sweat Machine’, turning human sweat into clean drinking water, is a unique way to draw global attention to this very important issue. Access to a supply of safe water is a fundamental need and human right, yet each day thousands of children die because they do not have clean water to drink. We are thrilled that this campaign has made such an impact, making it one of the most successful public awareness campaigns we have had to date highlighting the importance of clean water to children’s health and development, says Sanjay Wijesekera, Associate Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF, New York.
The machine was launched during Sweden’s Gothia Cup, the world’s biggest and most international youth soccer tournament. During one week more than 2 000 people drank filtered sweat and thereby contributed to clean 23 million litres of water with the support of UNICEF sponsors. The campaign was covered by international media such as BBC,The Independent, The New York Daily News, El Pais, China Daily, Discovery and many other leading publications from all around the world.
Although the sweat machine can retrieve clean water from sweaty t- shirts it is not for use in the field. UNICEF works all over the world to provide safe water to children, by drilling wells, installing hand pumps and providing water purification tablets among other things.
– Our role here in Sweden is to raise awareness and to get funds. In that sense, the sweat machine served its purpose in the most efficient way, says Per Westberg Deputy Executive Director UNICEF Sweden.