TRASH ISLES

Grand Prix
ClientLADBIBLE/THE PLASTIC OCEANS FOUNDATION
Category B02. Public Affairs & Lobbying
TitleTRASH ISLES
Product/ServiceTHE PLASTIC OCEANS FOUNDATION
Entrant AMVBBDO London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation AMVBBDO London, UNITED KINGDOM
Media Placement LADBIBLE London, UNITED KINGDOM
PR LADBIBLE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production LADBIBLE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 2 AMVBBDO London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Paul Brazier AMVBBDO Chief Creative Officer
Alex Grieve AMVBBDO Executive Creative Director
Adrian Rossi AMVBBDO Executive Creative Director
Nicholas Hulley AMVBBDO Creative Director
Nadja Lossgott AMVBBDO Creative Director
Dalatando Almeida AMVBBDO Art Director
Dalatando Almeida AMVBBDO Art Director
Michael Hughes AMVBBDO Copywriter
Mario Kerstra AMVBBDO Designer
Greg Kates AMVBBDO Producer
Matthew Harrington AMVBBDO Head of AMVBBDO Partnerships
Stephen Mai LADBible Head of Marketing and Design

Why is this work relevant for PR?

With next to no budget we needed to raise awareness of the huge problem - the amount of plastic in the ocean. To do so we had to find an unusual and interesting way to bring the issue to life that would not only grab the attention of the public but the press as we needed as much noise around the subject as possible. We needed newspapers, blogs and TV channels to pick up the idea and echo our message to the masses such as Fox News, CNN and Europe 1, National Geographic, Reuters etc

Background

Situation 8 million tons of plastic is dumped in our ocean each year. Despite the scale of this problem and the massive areas this plastic is now forming Governments have simply ignored it and the public are unaware of it. Brief Draw the attention to the unacceptable amounts of plastic in the ocean and make governments take notice Objectives Make the public aware of the scale of the problem. Get the press and public talking about the issue. Get The United Nations to take notice of the campaign. At the start of the campaign the issue was rarely talked about and the public were unaware of the issue, by the end of it global new channels such as Fox News, CNN and Europe 1 had covered it, major publications like National Geographic, Reuters and the Daily Mail wrote about it

Describe the creative idea

In the North Pacific there is so much plastic an area of trash the size of France has formed. Governments have simply ignored it. So we found a way to ensure they couldn’t. By turning the country sized trash patch into an official country. On World Oceans Day, 8th June 2017, The Plastic Oceans Foundation and LadBible submitted an application to The United Nations to recognise The Trash Isles as an official country. Because if it is recognised as an official country, then other countries are obliged to help clean it up. We created an identity for the country and asked the public to support it by becoming citizens.

Describe the strategy

We needed a way for people to engage with a problem. By turning the country sized trash patch into an official country we not only achieved this but allowed them to understand the scale of the problem. The campaign was targeted at LADBible’s young, politically active audience - the generation that would have to deal with this problem if not addressed and the wider public who were unaware of the issue. The campaign lived on The Trash Isles home page. From here we reached out to our audience and sent out the countries assets to journalists to build intrigue - the passport, the flag and the money. Big name celebrities signed up and helped us reach the full range of our audience, such as Ale Gore and Sir David Attenborough all the way to popular hip hop artist and famous actors such as Pharrell Williams and Chris Hemsworth

Describe the execution

Having handed in our application to the Secretary General of The United Nations on June 8th 2017 we created a whole range of content to recruit citizens and raise awareness of the problem. We had videos solely dedicated to educating people about the problem, experts in the area shared their stories through articles and interviews, we had celebrities pledging their support and speaking up on social media sites. Posters and web banners asked people to become citizens. All the countries assets, the money, the passports, the flag and the stamps, were sent to journalists to build intrigue. And partnering with Change.org we sent out targeted emails to get people to sign our petition to back the application. In all, the campaign recruited citizens and raised awareness of the problem not only through LADBible’s extensive network but through millions of earned media impressions.

List the results

Over 220,000 people signed the change.org petition and became citizens. We had 690,000 likes, shares and comments. In total The Trash Isles campaign had over 50 million video views. Utilising LADBible’s global network and through earned media we reached half a billion people with the campaign. Fox News, CNN, National Geographic, Europe 1, IBT, Daily Mail, Reuters were just some of the major networks / papers that covered the campaign. Big names celebrities in the category got on-board the campaign including Al Gore and Sir David Attenborough. All this led to a comment from the UN about the campaign and drove the issue to the front of the political agenda. In part due to the campaigns’ success plastic in the oceans has become a big discussion point around the world and 193 countries have pledged to tackle global crisis of plastic in the oceans at the most recent UN conference.