Great Experiential Marketing: Walking for water


A marathon is 26.2 miles long. Gambian woman Siabatou Sanneh walks nearly this distance each day just to get water for her family.


Water for Africa made a bold statement in this experiential campaign by flying her over to ‘walk’ a marathon in Paris in April carrying 20 litres of water to boot. Siabatou was wearing a sign for the marathon which roughly translates as: “African women walk this distance every day for drinking water’. The closing screen of the promotional video proclaims ‘Help Us Shorten the Distance’.

The campaign, which was designed to procure donations and drum up awareness for the charity, was incredibly successful, generating enormous amounts of positive media coverage.

It can be difficult for charities to put the plight of people around the world in perspective, but this image of the ‘marathon walker’ perfectly captures the message of the charity.


Marathons are a great way to get people talking about their campaigns and this isn’t the first watery activation to catch our eye. For the duration of the London Marathon, ‘Canada Water’ tube station was renamed ‘Buxton Water’, to bring attention to the brand as well as remind runners to keep hydrated. You can read more about this here.

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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.