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Mar 28, 2024
Esme Smith
On the Record: March 2024
Welcome back to On the Record – our monthly roundup of all things Purpose
This month, we’re calling time on the deluge of ineffective, emotionless sustainability communications. Our latest report, “Dull Green” is a rallying cry for sustainability comms that inspires action through compelling creative. Discover how Mars adds humour to recycling, Coldplay drives action, not words, and Greenpeace has been stirring up trouble, three tactics our report recommends to make your sustainability campaign unforgettable.
In entertainment, Mars recycled their fan-favourite ads.
In September Mars published its Net Zero Roadmap, making plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years to drive climate action. Rather than a boring corporate press release, Revolt helped them lean into the joyful personality of their brand characters to deliver a message of optimism and humour.

The new ads we created reused old ones, cutting emissions by removing the need for travel, filming and set production. They also include new voiceovers and simple 2D animation that is less emission-intensive than other techniques. “Healthy Planet Productions” allows Mars to raise consumer awareness around its net-zero roadmap while literally taking action to keep emissions down.

If you are a fun, witty or joyful brand, why the need to turn so serious when it comes to sustainability? As demonstrated by Dull Green, humour and lightness can create that all important emotional reaction that makes for great communication.
Find out more here.
In music, Coldplay made recycling a competitive sport.
Coldplay set out to cut CO2 emissions by 50% for their most recent world tour, knowing that live concerts and performances generate 405,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Sustainable biofuel, renewable grid power, compostable LED wristbands and even kinetic dance floors that capture audience dancing power; the band walks the talk.

Sometimes sustainable behaviour change is simply about tapping into our innate competitiveness. During the show, Coldplay displayed a Wristband Recycling Leaderboard to motivate fans to recycle their wristbands and beat other host cities. Amsterdam’s recycling rate of 87% failed to topple Toyko’s top spot of 97%.

To paraphrase “Dull Green”, sometimes the most vivid messaging is just about letting your actions do the talking.
Find out more here.
In sports, Greenpeace stirs up trouble, again. 
The global fossil fuel industry extracts enough oil every three hours and 37 minutes to fill a rugby stadium – a stat that was expertly demonstrated in Greenpeace’s campaign in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup and its contentious sponsorship by TotalEnergies.

The animated 60-second film, ‘TotalPollution: A Dirty Game’, digitally fills up the Stade De France, sweeping away mannequin fans and plastic players. The ad caused a stir, with The Rugby World Cup threatening Greenpeace with legal action over the use of its logo. Greenpeace refused to back down, instead doubling down on their message that “fossil fuel companies like TotalEnergies sponsor events like the Men’s Rugby World Cup to distract everyone from their climate destruction.”

To make a point, sometimes it’s good to ruffle a few feathers. For more examples of how brands cause trouble, head to Dull Green.

Find out more here
The Next Revolution…Vivid Green Sustainability Creative              
Dull creative is failing sustainability. 

The evidence of climate change is all around us, and people are demanding action not just from governments, but from brands too. As a result, we’ve seen a huge upsurge in the amount of sustainability communications from brands, corporates and NGOs over the past 10 years. Lots of talk about changes that have been made, commitments pledged, what governments must do and ways we can all change our own behaviour.

Despite climate change being the single most emotive topic humanity is wrestling with, communications about sustainability are almost always dull. 

Adam Morgan and Peter Field have identified the financial cost of dull communications for businesses – Field’s ‘The Cost of Dull’ shows that ads deemed dull are 6.1 times more ineffective at growing market share than interesting ones.
But when it comes to sustainability communications, the cost of dull goes beyond just the fiscal. Here we all pay the price for work that is unable to move hearts and minds.

Emotion fuels progress. So, at Anthesis, we are challenging this deluge of ‘Dull Green’. 

For when the heat is rising, there is no better time to fight fire with fire. Download our report and explore our step by step guide to creating unmissable vivid green campaigns. 

To read more about what this means for purpose marketing, click here

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