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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Sep. 13, 2019 10 months ago

County pumps up pumpkin spice lattes in pitch for tap water

Hillsborough County uses an email to woo people to drink tap water.

Someone at Hillsborough County has a quirky sense of humor — and knows how to use it to get people to click through what’s normally a typical email from a government office.   

The note is a weekly overview of news, events, updated regulations, etc. In Hillsborough, it comes every Friday and is subtitled “This week’s top five news articles on,” the county’s official website. On Friday, Sept. 6, headline No. 4, for example, was “Historic Maps Go Digital,” and No. 5, in a nod to Hurricane Dorian, was “Don’t Throw Your Sandbags Away.” Both were links to informative pieces of county news.

The No. 2 headline — “How to Enjoy 196 Pumpkin Spice Lattes" — was, although maybe not clickbait, an unusual way for a government to woo readers, in using Starbucks’ heavily hyped beverage. The payoff? A short article and plea from officials to consume what it calls “Hillsborough County’s high-quality drinking water.”

The lattes fit in because the story says that if your family drinks bottled water, “then you are likely spending more than $880 a year on drinking water. That same $880 could buy you a year's supply of Hillsborough County drinking water and 196 pumpkin spice lattes — just enough to enjoy this fall.”

The story adds that Hillsborough’s tap water is tested more often and undergoes more scrutiny than bottled water. “So instead of wasting $880, tap into your budget, and give thanks that you’ll get more for your money.” It concludes with a link to county water reports, in addition to this witty comparison of what you can get with $880, besides pumpkin spice lattes:

• Eat 13,200 Oreo cookies — they also come in fun, fall colors;

• Order 88 large pizzas from Domino’s to host your epic Halloween party; or

• Buy 352 gallons of gas, and to Grandma’s house you go for Thanksgiving!

Although Coffee Talk, for obvious reasons, leans toward lattes, props to Hillsborough County’s humor team for the information.



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