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Case Studies

Melbourne’s Greatest Backyard

By March 11, 2022May 17th, 2022No Comments



  • Market research
  • Strategy
  • Integrated marketing
  • Creative concept


As Melbourne grows and thrives, it is critical that Melbourne Water, the caretaker of the region’s waterways, meets these challenges and continues to care for waterways as spaces for recreation and amenity. But they can’t do it alone.

Towards the end of 2019, Melbourne Water approached Echomakers to develop a strategic and integrated marketing and communications campaign to raise awareness of, and trust in, Melbourne Water, and to encourage people to take shared responsibility for these beautiful natural spaces.


Beginning with consumer research about waterway usage and understanding in the community, we created an evidence-based campaign to leverage the existing engagement of waterway users. We identified key market segments that use the waterways for different purposes and targeted those most likely to be receptive to the campaign.

Using the insight that Melbourne’s population is growing and is increasingly urbanised – more people are living on smaller blocks often with a very limited or no outdoor area – we developed the creative concept, “Our shared backyard”.

Designed for myriad channels including out of home, digital, social media and PR, the campaign celebrated our waterways as an asset to be proud of and evoked a sense of shared ownership, called for people to bin their litter. Through focus groups we tested and refined the messaging. (Due to COVID-19 we had to postpone the roll-out of the paid campaign but proceeded with the below-the-line elements.)

In addition, Echomakers led the design and installation of new signage in a more permanent initiative to raise community awareness of Melbourne Water and its role, and to encourage the responsible disposal of litter. Successful stakeholder engagement with the landowners – typically councils – enabled us to install the signs at 21 highly-frequented waterways around Melbourne, with requests in some instances for multiple signs. A key feature of the design was a unique QR code for each sign, linking to a relevant Melbourne Water webpage for the community to engage with the topic and learn more about protecting rivers and creeks.


Due to COVID-19 the go-to-market approach changed. By proceeding with owned and social, we have been able to maintain awareness of Melbourne Water in a year the community has been saturated with government messaging.

In addition, the new signage has been viewed by countless Melburnians and engaged with hundreds of times via the QR code by engaged community members. It has also strengthened the relationships with councils in a collaborative effort to reduce litter in these areas.

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