Pay for your meal with a piece of plastic waste. This was the challenge Ecover set consumers, media, influencers and retailers at its Rubbish Café experience. 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year. That’s a truck load of rubbish every minute. Packaging makes up to 40% of all plastic usage – and not enough is being recycled. Ecover asked us to help them communicate their fight against plastic pollution, as they continue tackling this issue with 100% recycled/recyclable washing up bottles. Working with Ecover created the world’s first ever rubbish café; where punters could only enter if they paid with recyclable plastic rubbish. The café served up a zero-waste menu plus inspiration and ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling plastic.
Ecover wanted to move the conversation on from plastic in the ocean to industry needing to take responsibility for how they design their products to be as sustainable as possible. Ecover’s brand positioning “Let’s Live Clean” was designed to encourage consumers to join a movement that isn’t just about cleaning homes, but about cleaning the world. Without the budget of the big cleaning brands, we needed a brave creative idea to deliver #LetsLiveClean in a way that would spread organically.
We set out to target responsible consumers with the experience - early adopters of trends with a desire to share the positive choices they make and who like to feel they're part of a movement. The Rubbish Café was designed as a unique educational experience which would give them social bragging rights they would literally be queuing up to engage with.
We believed so strongly in our idea that we blew our budget on a single activation. And we didn’t mess around - we invested in fantastic styling, location, branding and getting our messaging spot on. But we just created the canvas for the story to unfold. We didn’t have massive production budgets to create high-impact digital assets. We relied on media, influencers, stakeholders and the public to experience, document and share the messages of the Rubbish Café. We had over 600k video views of content we had no control over. We simply created the environment and relied on the passion of our spokespeople to deliver a message that people would want to share.
The Missing Pieces
The UK has one of the lowest treatment rates for Multiple Sclerosis in Europe with only 21% of patients receiving disease modifying treatments which can delay the onset of disability. This campaign was designed to investigate the reasons behind this. It highlighted a discrepancy between the goals of patients and those of their doctors and identified the “missing pieces” in the doctor patient dialogue. Whist MS patients want to slow down disability progression their health professionals are focussed on relapse rates.
The Brief: Raise awareness of and encourage discussion around the low treatment rates of Multiple Sclerosis in the UK.
We commissioned research and uncovered key insights into why MS patients aren’t getting access to disease modifying treatments. These insights were packaged into an engaging, attention grabbing report entitled “The Missing Pieces” and the “story” was shared with stakeholders in the wider MS community plus the media. In addition, we created assets (including a destination website) to help address the issues raised.
The campaign resulted in huge amounts of UK media coverage which in turn stimulated much debate in the MS community. Tens of thousands of people visited the website and the most prominent MS patient groups proactively endorsed the central campaign messages.