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Increasing awareness of the Horrors of Hard Water with a new creative campaign

increase in paid social impressions


video views on YouTube


increase in ad recall

Founded in 1988 with a vision of bringing softer water to every home in the UK, Harvey Water Softeners has grown to become the UK’s number one selling water softener. 

The problem is, not enough people know that they are living in an area of ‘hard’ water, let alone aware of its damaging effects, or that there is a solution to prevent it.

The brief

RocketMill’s challenge was to communicate the negative effects hard water has on home, wallet and health – how it damages household appliances and central heating, increases energy bills and carbon footprint as well as contributing to skin and hair feeling dry and brittle.

We needed to establish Harvey as the front of mind solution to all these problems, elevating the brand with visually impactful creative that carried a clear and compelling message.

The strategy

Advertising in the water softener category tends to be somewhat ‘samey’, often relying on homogenised lifestyle imagery and a very familiar style of product demo. Looking at the marketplace, RocketMill saw an opportunity to create something truly different.

We decided to communicate with boldness and humour, showing  “the Horrors of Hard Water” in a  light-hearted parody of the classic horror movies and developing a look and feel that was cinematic in its intent, something none of Harvey’s competitors were doing.

To communicate the negative effects or “horrors” of hard water, we chose a colour palette of red, orange and black, entirely at odds with the cool blues more common to the sector. 

The results

As Halloween approached, ‘The Horrors of Hard Water’ creative was activated across the full customer journey as awareness, consideration and conversion assets, resulting in:


128% increase YoY in social impressions

82m impressions delivered across programmatic

15m video views on YouTube


+2.8pt ad recall and +0.9pt action intent


86% YoY increase in leads from paid media channels

Oliver Smith, Digital Marketing Manager at Harvey Water Softeners

“RocketMill’s approach to design, creation and implementation have proven, yet again, how they understood our requirements and our industry at large and were able to key into specific stylings and ideas that would be striking, informative and digestible across all demographics.”

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