| Denver Water makes international splash singing about watering rules
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Denver Water makes international splash singing about watering rules

In early May, the water sector streamed onto the pop culture scene when a music video about watering rules produced by Denver Water’s Splashstreet Boys went viral, earning mentions in national media outlets including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “TODAY Show.” 

Denver Water's Splashstreet Boys video imagesThe video, “I Water That Way,” was written, recorded and produced entirely in-house, starring Denver Water employees portraying their own version of the Backstreet Boys, an American pop group popular in the 1990s. The Splashstreet Boys video was posted on YouTube and promoted through the utility’s social media platforms and blog. 

“We try to do things in a little bit of a different way, using some creativity and unique storytelling to get the message out,” said Jimmy Luthye, Denver Water’s media relations senior coordinator, who wrote the lyrics.

To form the Splashstreet Boys, Luthye recruited Micky Boehm, communications specialist; Jill Harclerode, communications specialist; Nathan Hayes, community relations senior specialist; and Steve Snyder, communications senior specialist. Luthye also worked out an agreement with Karaoke-Version, an online collection of studio-recorded instrumental music, to use its version of “I Want It That Way” and record his co-workers singing the parodied lyrics. (Pictured above from left, Splashstreet Boys album cover; band selfie with the Denver Water toilet; Splashstreet performers from left, Micky Boehm, Nathan Hayes, Jimmy Luthye, Steve Snyder, Jill Harclerode.) 

“The hard part was recording the vocals from the band,” Luthye said. “Then just the editing and putting that together was probably as complicated as the video edit itself. It was a tall task, but everybody did great.”

“Autotune was our friend in all of this,” quipped Snyder.

Once the song was recorded, the last piece of the project was shooting the video, which was completed in one afternoon.

Over the top is memorable

“Our saying on this project from the very beginning was, ‘Commit to the bit,’” Snyder said. “If we're going to do this, it needs to be cheesy, it needs to be over the top.”

“When I saw Steve dressed in his all whites with a neck tattoo and then Jill had facial hair, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. These people have raised the commitment level so high,’” Boehm said.

Boehm’s excitement literally had him doing flips.

“Probably a week before the shoot he said, ‘Oh and by the way, I can do a standing backflip if you need it,’” Luthye said. “I said, ‘If I need it? Of course, I need it.’”

In addition to Boehm’s flip, the band performed some choreography it learned to match the original video.

“The comments have been very positive by and large, which is hard to do,” said Luthye. “It's hard to put anything out that is received positively on different platforms. It feels like we toed the line between cheese, cringy, serious and actually a pretty good performance.”

“It (the watering rules message) is a lot more memorable this way,” Harclerode said. “I've done a couple community outreach events since the video came out. We had people ask us questions and any time watering rules came up, somebody in the area would start singing the song.”

The video has been viewed more than 100,000 times by people around the world.

“I saw neighbors in the park, who saw me the first time since they saw it, and they were able to sing it word for word,” Hayes said.

“It was just such a cool surprise when it started to take off like that,” Luthye said. “It's just been so much fun to watch. We found out a family member of somebody on our team saw the video on the news in Australia. It's been on the news in the United Kingdom, so that's at least a few continents.”

Hopefully now the whole world waters the right way.