How can a water tap create a lasting behavioral change?


Idea: The Talking Tap.
The Dopper Water Tap is not an ordinary water tap. It features a smart data tracker that keeps track of the number of water bottles being tapped. This data can be followed in real-time through an online dashboard that monitors the impact made by tapping, as tapping saves plastic disposable bottles and CO2 emissions. This fulfils the desire of businesses eager to both make a positive contribution and to back it up with actual data they can communicate about, and makes it possible for Dopper to sell ‘proven game changers’.

We decided to use this data for positive reinforcement and employ nudging (a motivational technique that promotes behavioural change through positive rewards) to provide people with a premium Tap experience. Inspired by the Tamagotchi of the 90s, we transformed the Dopper Water Tap into a talking character that needs your attention and rewards your good behaviour with positive comments, thus motivating you to keep coming back. Tap it up! This fulfils the desire of consumers because it is noticeable, attention grabbing, and provides a fun, memorable experience, without taking away the main purpose of tapping water: to quench one’s thirst.


An integrated dot matrix LED screen was added, through which the Dopper Water Tap communicates using a ticker tape and animations: a seductive message as you walk by (Tapje voor de dorst?), a message while you're tapping (We gaan tot het randje!), and a compliment afterwards (Helemaal TAP!). This turns water tapping into a fun experience.

Furthermore, the Dopper Water Tap celebrates every milestone in plastic reduction (POP A BOTTLE. That's tap number 1000 today!) or (NEWS SPLASH! We've already saved 25 kg's of plastic today!). This way, the user learns that they contribute to a larger collective goal. With over 1000 different messages, we ensure that people will come back for a full bottle and new feedback from the Dopper Tap. We made these messages even more personal based on specific parameters: At a sports club, it speaks differently (Tap one for the team) then at train stations (Trein halen of water halen? Ik zou ’t wel weten). On a rainy day, it has something else to say (Drip, drip, drip. Let it rain) then on a very hot day (This heat calls for one thing. Ice. Cold. Water.)

The mood of the Dopper Water Tap also changes on specific days of the week (Not all at once please. It's my Monday morning too), it empathises with you (Long day? Time to refuel) and adjusts its language based on the environment, from office jargon (We tappen ‘t even over het weekend heen) to student slang at the university (WVO’tje?).


Together with 9 launching partners such as de Bijenkorf, Koninklijke Jaarbeurs, and the ABN AMRO, the launch of the Dopper Water Tap at Naturalis was a great success. Currently 68 different Taps are installed across the Netherlands and Belgium, including at Albert Heijn, G-Star, De Nederlandsche Bank and Universities. And many more are on the way, as Albert Heijn has publicly expressed interest in supplying a total of 300 stores with Dopper Water Taps.
The personalised impact dashboard provides companies (and us) with valuable insights into the impact of the Dopper Water Tap. According to the dashboard, more than 120.000 taps have been executed. That translates to 32.262 litres which equals 64.726 disposable plastic water bottles that have already been saved, reducing a total of 1.812 kilograms of plastic waste and 4.530 kilograms of CO2. Sip Sip Hooray!

Dopper Caseboard

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© Rein van der Ven is registrated under the name KOMODE - creative studio for change, KVK 56875371

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