Cardboard Media Project shows how delivery boxes can become a channel for delivering social messages that come directly to people’s homes with every purchase from the marketplace.
Now it’s even more important since we still spend a lot of time at home. We tried to make voices from the streets be heard inside.
We transformed ordinary delivery packaging into a platform for impact, and added the immersive experience of holding a cardboard sign with a cry for help. Because when you hold a box with a message from the homeless — it’s literally that, immersive.
The COVID-19 pandemic was hard on the homeless. More people ended up on the street, but they received less help than usual. And while quarantine kept us inside and unable to see and help them, we started ordering a lot more deliveries online and receiving more cardboard boxes than seeing cardboard signs of the homeless on the streets. We decided to tap into this change to raise awareness about the serious and growing problem of homelessness.
Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)
If people order delivery more and more often, we can use this trend to make a change. Messages from the streets can be delivered like everything else. By putting the messages from cardboard signs used by the homeless on delivery boxes, we helped their words reach tens of thousands of homes daily. «Every little bit helps», «Help homeless from home», «Help with clothes» or «Good deed will fit here», — one of these messages on the box engages people into a simple act of help — to fill this box with some necessities for homeless people and to send it for free.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
Buying new stuff on the marketplace during this campaign, customers get an opportunity to free some space at home and help homeless people at the same time. They received their purchases in special boxes with typical messages from cardboard signs along with info about what the homeless need and how to send it free of charge to the oldest charity organization of the city, Nochlezhhka.
We relied on the element of surprise which would make people talk about this campaign. And it worked. We received tons of comments with one general message: don’t stop. And we won’t.
Describe the execution (20% of vote)
Our warehouse in St. Petersburg produced special boxes that had typical messages from the homeless printed on them, and every purchase from our customers during the campaign was packed into these boxes.
In July 2021, certain customers received their online orders in boxes with messages from the homeless and had the opportunity to make a donation online or send essential items to Nochlezhka, Russia’s oldest charity providing assistance to homeless people. We covered the delivery of items to Nochlezhka in these special boxes at no cost to the customer.
In a month we delivered tens of thousands of boxes with messages from the homeless to the people staying at home.
List the results (30% of vote)
We brought homelessness issue into focus. The project’s website was visited by more than 50% of all buyers who received these special boxes. The rate of resending them to the charity was 1% (1 of 100 sent the box with necessities to Nochlezhka), or equal to the ad banner rate despite being much more involved than just clicking a link.
We created a simple mechanic that now can be scaled by any store that delivers in boxes. We hope our experiment will spread to other online retailers now that they’ve seen how effective cardboard media can be. We are planning to continue our collaborations with other charities that might need things from our customers, delivered in our boxes, by our delivery ecosystem.
Bloggers and media in St. Petersburg were talking about the boxes because they were really surprised, loved the idea, loved Nochlezhka and now they love our brand too.
Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work
We are an environmentally conscious company which strives towards responsible consumption and greening. We are doing many initiatives to promote these ideas.
In this work, we see a combination of several valuable ideas — reusing boxes, giving second life to clothes and, of course, using packaging to convey important messages and helping the homeless together with customers. The marketplace is where sellers and customers meet, and it’s very important to do projects in collaboration, because such practices increase trust.