Sustainability has come to the forefront of everyone’s minds in recent years. And rightly so. With Extinction Rebellion asking our industry to step up and make a change, agencies (and their clients) are now focusing on making sure that their campaigns are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Although we’ve always been mindful of reusing event kit and reducing wastage at events it was through an experience with a new client that we realised there was a lot still to learn. WWF are an international non-governmental organization working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment – and they asked us to help them create a pop-up experiential tour in the lead up to a mass lobby outside UK parliament.
In order to comply with the charities environmental and sustainability policies, we created a one-of-a-kind FSC certified wooden British telephone booth that toured the UK. The booth offered member of the public the opportunity to leave a voice message for their local MP on how they wanted to see climate changed tackled and addressed in parliament. Every element of the campaign was sustainable including the fuel used to travel between cities being carbon off-set.
Following the success of this campaign, we’ve decided to take a look at the world of experiential and aspects of it that can help agencies make small changes to move towards more sustainable campaigns.
Whilst this may be beneficial for brand awareness, the chances of it causing additional littering (not to mention hefty fines) if not collected and disposed of properly post campaign are high. To avoid such issues, a natural and sustainable alternative comes in the form of seed paper – something we used during our WWF Fight for Nature campaign.
When planted, the paper naturally composts away, and British wildflowers grow from the decomposing paper. This means that if any littering does occur, the leaflet would in fact contribute to its surroundings. Utilising this material also provides more of an incentive for members of the public to not only take and read the leaflet, but to take it home and plant it themselves. A leafleting campaign that not only raises brand awareness, but it also environmentally beneficial is the certainly the way forward for adland.
These can be the staple and main takeaway of many events. A brand can create an incredibly immersive experience, but members of the public will invariably always want to walk away with a freebie. And with more and more companies adopting experiential as part of their marketing strategy, brands are having to up their giveaway game. Gone are the days of desk mates and stress balls that only collect dust at the back of your drawer – not to mention these items usually aren’t sustainable.
Increasingly brands are moving towards re-useable or recycled giveaways such as reusable coffee cups, hemp tote bags or recycled paper notebooks. For the Samsung Experience Store Student Social event, we opted to give away recycled paper notebooks and reusable water bottles. Understanding that these were more desirable for the Gen Z target market that are concerned about their impact on the environment was a key consideration for this campaign.
Post event can always be a messy time and a panic tidy up, but the stress could be taken away by enlisting the help of your customer base. Pokémon Go gamified the clean up for Earth Day 2018. Encouraging its large following of gamers to clean up their local parks for exclusive in game rewards meant that they not only increased awareness for their offering, but also attracted new, environmentally aware players.
This initiative resulted in 6,631KG of rubbish being collected all around the world by their fan base. Incentives for the public to not litter or assist with the clean-up (such as the Glastonbury volunteers who get free entry to the festivals for doing clean up service) would minimise campaign waste and generate further social buzz post event.
With the general public becoming more and more conscious about their impact on the environment, events and experiential need to keep up with their views and continue to challenge the events norm by creating more ways of marketing sustainably.
It’s good to be green has never been truer!