CREATIVE MARKETING IN SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability is high on the agenda here at H+B HQ and across the globe. While ‘eco-friendly’ and sustainability focused campaigns are certainly not a new phenomenon, they’ve been propelled back into our media and timelines faster than a wind turbine spins with news coverage of ‘yer man’ removing the US from the Paris Agreement, the subsequent World Economic Forum impact studies and the BBC’s real-life Captain Planet, David Attenborough narrating the Blue Planet series into our collective psyche.
That poor turtle’s straw-stuff nose had a huge effect on people’s perception on just how devastating human impact is on the world. Ever increasing pressure is coming on big brands and organisations to take a stand, and reduce their negative effect on the planet and its ecosystem from tweaks to products and their production, right down to the everyday operations and marketing of the business.
So here are some creative examples of marketing and activations with sustainability as the central theme that we’ve loved;
GREEN BUS STOPS: Alright, we’ve gone for an obvious choice here but it’s something we’re passionate about. In an effort to clean up its air, reduce its carbon footprint and promote bee populations, the city of Utrecht created 316 Green Buzz Stops whose roofs are miniature habitats with food for bees. Beautiful and brilliant.
NATURALIS THE TOWER OF ALL LIFE: Explaining biodiversity to a mass audience can be a daunting task. It’s an extremely nuanced and intricate web of species and the knock-on effects when too many of these are removed, so simplifying the chain into a game as universally understood as Jenga is a stroke of creative genius. Simple but incredibly effective.
THE JOY OF BEES: Bompas & Parr curated the world’s most extensive art installation dedicated to some of the rarest honeys in the world. A four-floor townhouse in Soho was transformed into a golden hive of activity for Relais & Chateaux, the international hotel group, featuring an immersive experiential art installation and gastronomic tasting of honeys collected from its properties worldwide.
“The Joy of Bees included a fragrant indoor garden, a buzzing live honeybee observation hive, honeycomb-inspired contemporary art, honey tasting from around the world led by a honey sommelier, hands-on chef cookery demos and more.”
EVERYTHING IS NOT AWESOME: We LOVE Lego. Who doesn’t love Lego? Barefeet, that’s who, but they’ll get over it. That’s why we uncomfortably shifted in our chairs in 2014 when Greenpeace fired shots at one of the world’s greatest brands over its relationship with Shell (Boo Shell, boooo!). The eco warriors raised important points though and Lego, being the total dreamboat we know it is, refused to renew its contract with the oil barons. Punchy, smart and brave – love it!
Initially, sustainability may have found itself fitting under a corporate CSR or nice “to do” umbrella which might lead to a PR-able photocall of business people in suits shaking hands. Nowadays, it represents the overarching sentiment towards your brand and your products - people care, so should you.
Whilst we can be quick to assume a lot of big marketing amounts to nothing more than “Greenwashing”, surely any messaging about reducing ecological impact is a good message to share?!
PRACTICING WHAT WE PREACH: For every new client we work with we’re going to fund and maintain an apiary (beehive) in your name and plant a lovely new patch of pollen rich meadow for the bees to feast on. AND the sweetest part of the deal; not only are you doing your bit for the ecosystem, you’ll be getting your very own seasonal delivery of honey and beeswax based products; WIN-WIN!
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