Hill Holliday/Unicef Tap Project

Hill Holliday worked with UNICEF to publicize its TAP project, bringing clean and accessible water to children.

Why Pro Bono?

UNICEF launched the Tap Project in NY based on a simple concept: restaurants would ask their patrons to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free, and all funds raised would support UNICEF’s efforts to bring clean and accessible water to millions of children around the world.

Hill Holliday was an original UNICEF Tap agency partner, joining other national agencies on this pro bono cause in 2008, and launched Tap for the first time as it expanded into the Boston market. Hill Holliday donated its services to raise awareness of the world water crisis and promote participation in the Tap Project.


Hill Holliday's campaign focused on the fact that many children around the world are forced to walk three miles or more every time they need clean drinking water.

Over the course of a single day, this can add up to over 12 miles, preventing the children from doing more productive tasks like going to school and improving their quality of life. It is a vicious cycle that will not end unless aid is sent via the Tap Project.

So, how do you educate people about the endless water survival march children around the world face every day? For starters, you get a street team to paint a three-mile "water walk line" during World Water Week, essentially creating a three-mile long billboard right in the heart of Boston. The water line stunt was videotaped to recreate the experience online. (The paint was actually washable chalk).

Hill Holliday created media supporting the Water Line campaign in print, online video and out of home. Transit posters were placed along the water walk line (and throughout the city) to create additional awareness. Anyone who walks the entire line will soon discover that the three-mile walk leads them right back to where they started -- driving home the notion that this problem will not end without their help. The campaign created awareness about Tap, encouraged restaurants to participate and generally spread the word in Boston. The creative drove traffic to tapproject.org. Local media outlets donated all media in Boston.


In 2009, the Tap project grew to become an international effort. Tap in Boston saw increased restaurant and diner participation as well as donations directly to the website.

In alignment with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, UNICEF continues working towards the goal of reducing the number of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation. The reduction goal is 50% by 2015, which will also save children at risk from waterborne illnesses, the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths.

Bus Shelter ads created by Hill Holliday for Unicef's Tap Project

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