Weather has been dry in Los Angeles lately, to say the least. In July, 2016, downtown LA’s five-year rain total was at the lowest it had ever been since officials started keeping track nearly 140 years ago.

Heal the Bay takes water matters to heart. While this non-profit advocate’s focus is on protecting Santa Monica Bay, its broader mission is to protect and promote all of Southern California’s waters and watersheds—a mission they asked RIVAL to assist with in the spring of 2016. With the drought in full effect and efforts already underway to encourage water conservation in Los Angeles, Heal the Bay wanted to make an effort to educate city residents on precisely where their water comes from, plus why it’s important to reuse what they have and to get much more of it locally.

Public Presentations

The Know the Flow campaign wormed its way into the ears (and hearts) of thousands via an animated video and pop-fueled theme song.

To help our new friends (and the environment, of course), RIVAL built a campaign we called Know the Flow aiming to enhance and expand the impact of Heal the Bay’s outreach. We understood that the best educational efforts incorporate an element of fun and entertainment to help the facts sink in, so we went to work crafting a campaign that was both eye-catching and lighthearted.

Our first task was developing a visual style we could use to quickly explain some of the complex concepts Heal the Bay wanted to illustrate. Cute, quirky, and fun, the characters and style we created could be used equally well to tell stories or convey hard facts, and worked well in conjunction with real-world photography.

The video for the Know the Flow anthem took viewers for a fact-filled journey following our hero as he learns the importance of smarter water management.

Heal the Bay was looking to interact with the community three ways: online, at community events, and via scheduled speaking engagements.

Our digital efforts led to, a site where visitors could test their knowledge by flipping through interesting facts, sign up for an informative newsletter, request a speaker, or volunteer to get involved.

To spread the word and attract visitors to the campaign, we wrote and produced a pop-fueled Know the Flow anthem and paired it with an animated music video meant to educate while it entertained. Viewers follow our thirsty hero as he tracks LA’s water to its source and takes on a wild ride through deserts, aqueducts, and earthquakes in his quest for a clean, sustainable drink.

The next component of Know the Flow was a large-scale table-mounted map plotting the course of the major aqueducts that bring fresh water to LA, meant to aid with Heal the Bay’s physical engagements at community events and seminars. We also designed an interactive stand-up display board featuring flip-and-learn windows that asked questions on one side and provided answers on the other, enabling Heal the Bay volunteers to actively teach bystanders or the public to interact on their own while the volunteers were engaged. To drive the most important knowledge home, we created colorful fact cards in English, Korean, and Spanish for giveaways, as well as fashionable Know the Flow stickers to spread the website URL in local neighborhoods.

Finally, we wanted to make sure that when Heal the Bay was invited to bring their message directly to community groups they made the strongest, most memorable impression possible. This led to RIVAL weaving an inspiring 25-minute Know the Flow narrative and presentation that could be given by Heal the Bay speakers. Delivered via the Prezi presentation tool, this entertaining talk incorporated all the elements designed for Know the Flow as it walked viewers through the complete story of LA’s complicated relationship with water and how they could become part of the solution to the problem.

Since its launch, the Know the Flow presentation, along with the entire Know the Flow program, has earned praise from community leaders and caught the attention and imagination of Los Angelenos, resulting in more requests for speakers from schools and other groups whenever its given.