Rain Down the Wrong Path

A marketing campaign that simultaneously highlights combined sewage overflow systems and rainwater runoff pollution issues in Vancouver. The campaign visuals compare rainwater to a presumably innocent adolescent that is actually causing harm in local waterways. The conceptual frame positions green rainwater infrastructure as the “right” path that guides it towards natural soil.




School of Business and Media


MKTG 4415


  • Danielle Wilson
  • Stefanie Gajdecki
  • Cindy Ball
  • Erin Whittle

City of Vancouver:

  • Julie McManus
  • Sarah Kristi Lone

Student Team:

  • Eileen Bui
  • Jong Lee
  • Lana Gill
  • Kyla Johst
  • Alison Genereux


  • Rain City Strategy


Spring 2021


The Rain City Strategy was developed to address Vancouver’s two major water concerns: combined sewage overflow and rainwater runoff pollution. This was done through the introduction of Green Rainwater Infrastructure (GRI). The marketing objective for this campaign is to educate the public on the benefits and constraints of GRI.

The main problem:

“How can the City of Vancouver encourage more community engagement with GRI implementation, when Mt. Pleasant residents are unaware of the problems it solves and too busy to engage in green initiatives without a clear connection to significant results?”

This led our team to create a campaign strategy:

We focused on 20 to 64 year old Mt. Pleasant residents to participate in the design implementation phase of the St George Rainway project by visually rendering the pollutant and overflow system problems as solvable, with the solution ready to go. Our campaign, Rain Down the Wrong Path, explicitly reveals the status quo issue of the pollutant discharge in Vancouver while conceptually highlighting the challenges of combined sewer overflow and rainwater pollution runoff. The campaign incorporates a combination of rational and emotional appeal to portray to the audience the weight of the issue without using fear-based messaging.

The research showed us that to engage citizens in environmental initiatives three key issues needed to be addressed. First, without awareness of the problems that GRI solves, citizens are less likely to engage. Second, citizens need to feel like their individual actions will have a meaningful impact. Third, visual presence is a key factor for which environmental issues get attention.

Campaign tactics included transit ads and social media ads to raise awareness; website and email marketing to educate; and lawn signs and plantable paper seeds to reward participation.

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