Sky asked Skating Panda to pitch a communications and PR strategy to launch their new corporate responsibility initiative ‘Sky Ocean Rescue’ on the back of their award winning ‘Sky Rainforest Rescue’ initiative and encourage people to use less single use plastic.
With just 14 days over Christmas to meet the challenge, it would have been easiest to generate a high-profile, one-off-stunt. However, we knew that this wouldn’t be good enough. We know how challenging it is to encourage people to care about environmental issues, let alone change their behaviour.
To crack the challenge, the Skating Panda team absorbed and analysed everything we know about ocean health, behaviour change, and the negative impact disposable plastics have on the world’s oceans.
Behavioural economics tells us that people find it difficult to connect with complex environmental issues such as ocean health. To connect people to the issue, we focussed on why the ocean needs rescuing from single use plastic? We discovered that this single use plastic hinders marine wildlife. Our response was to create situations where plastic invades our spaces and hinders our activities. To stop using single use plastics becomes a relevant and powerful response.
Given that Sky News wanted to show a commitment to the issue we suggested that they first fill their beautiful, clean news studio with dirty, used plastic. For the presenters to be surrounded by it, making their job harder. Fantastically, Sky News were up for it.
To see real behaviour change, we needed to create the direct link between the image in the news room to people’s usage of single use plastics and the devastating impact it has on ocean health.
So we started our digging. We found out that the average household produces 55kg of disposable plastic waste each year. But these figures alone mean very little to the average person. How can we frame this in a way that makes it visually understandable?
We calculated that 55kg of rubbish would take up an entire rubbish truck. This allowed us to generate the following key messages:
- The average household fills a rubbish truck of plastic waste every year
- One rubbish truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute
- By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish
- Go plastic free with Sky Ocean Rescue
This visually frames the problem in a way that the average person can understand, connects it to the issue, and makes a call to action relevant.
All we needed now was some plastic. So, Skating Panda and team set out in their big van to gather a whooping 55kg worth of plastic waste, carted it to the Sky News studio, and assembled an installation called ‘a tide of rubbish’- all over a weekend.
This installation was set up and broadcasted live to millions of viewers. The takeover kicked off the launch of the ‘Sky Ocean Rescue’ campaign with the Sky ‘Plastic tide’ documentary screening that night.
Our clever use of statistics and storytelling informed everything Sky did, from the big screens when you enter the Sky building to the CEO’s script at the launch of the documentary, right through to their internal and external communications on social media, their customers, and the wider public.
Two social media accounts were launched on Facebook and Twitter and we’ve amassed
more than 1.2 million video views since launch (all social videos)
On Launch day, across all social media (excluding Facebook), there were 6.1k campaign
mentions reaching an estimated 70.7m people.
The Facebook page already has 20k fans and on Twitter 8k followers.
Supportive tweets of the campaign were also sent by influencers including Surfers Against
Sewage, WWF, Wise Oceans, Edith Bowman and Sky News talent across the board.
Anecdotally the sentiment towards the campaign on social media was overwhelmingly
positive, and a stark contrast to the more divisive commentary normally seen on Sky News
stories. Global reach with tweets coming from the UK, US, China, India, Ireland, Italy,
Pakistan and Haiti.
Overall, we have successfully created awareness of ocean health to Sky customers and the wider public.