WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) briefed Pelican to inspire the nation to recycle more household waste with a particular focus on tabloids, as ‘redtop’ readers were statistically the least likely to recycle.
Through our detailed understanding of tabloid media, we recognised that recycling was seen as dull, boring and worthy of little news attention, other than when the council failed to empty the bins.
We launched Recycle Now Week, a national campaign to inspire the public to recycle. TV personality and West End star Denise Van Outen was recruited as the face of the campaign. A keen recycler, Denise was a great fit – tabloid friendly, photogenic and credible. We commissioned leading ethical fashion designer Gary Harvey to create a stunning dress for Denise, made from recycled cans, bottles, plastic bags, cardboard packaging, glass beads and bottle tops.
We undertook market research asking people if they suffered ‘Green Guilt’ when they weren’t able to recycle. The results gave us a fun and topical angle to use in the launch media interviews and press releases.
This was supported with a pre-recorded radio interview with Denise and a ready-made feature for regional newspapers, focusing on Denise’s top recycling tips.
For the launch we teamed-up with The Guardian and ran a pull-out recycling wall chart. We also organised an exclusive feature in The Mirror, in which a family was put through a six week recycling challenge.
Our campaign proved a huge hit and the coverage was overwhelming – generating coverage worth almost £3 million, and 57 million opportunities to see. Highlights included coverage in The Sun, The Star, The Mirror, The Daily Sport and the Metro. Plus Denise was interviewed by GMTV, and the dress was modelled live in the studio.