Just 1 Super Bowl Ad Could Give 140,000 People Water for Life


With population growth, industrialization and limited resources, access to freshwater has become a crisis. 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water – that’s more than one out of six people. Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness. Water is such an issue that it is a key component in achieving the United Nation’s Millenium Development Goals.

These statistics are hard to grapple with, but for perspective, consider that this past weekend, a 30-second advertising spot during the Super Bowl ran for $3.5 million.

According to Water.org, the same amount of money it took to bring you a baby being catapulted to a bag of Doritos, could have been used to get 140,000 people water for life. For every 30 seconds of advertising, you could give hundreds of thousands of people around the world access to the one of the essential items that you need to survive.

Diverting Super Bowl advertising dollars to the water crisis may not be a viable solution, but it’s a start. Instead of being captivated by flashy cars and beer, imagine if just a percentage of those advertising budgets went to solving global problems instead of funding a vicious consumer cycle focused on buying more. One can dream.

Images: AngieSix [top left], hdptcar [right]

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.