Plastic Oceans International
"Trash Isles"

Client: Plastic Oceans International
Product: Plastic Oceans International
Title: Trash Isles
Media: Social Media/Direct
Country: United Kingdom
Date Of Campaign: June 2017

Background: 8 million tons of plastic is dumped in our ocean each year. Despite the scale of this problem and the massive areas this plastic is now forming Governments have simply ignored it and the public are unaware of it.BriefDraw the attention to the unacceptable amounts of plastic in the ocean and make governments take notice Objectives Make the public aware of the scale of the problem. Get the press and public talking about the issue.Get The United Nations to take notice of the campaign

Idea: In the North Pacific there is so much plastic an area of trash the size of France has formed. Governments have simply ignored it. So we found a way to ensure they couldn’t. By turning the country sized trash patch into an official country. On World Oceans Day, 8th June 2017, The Plastic Oceans Foundation and LadBible submitted an application to The United Nations to recognise The Trash Isles as an official country. Because if it is recognised as an official country, then other countries are obliged to help clean it up. We created an identity for the country and asked the public to support it by becoming citizens. The saying out of sight out of mind could not be more applicable than with this issue.So we needed a way for people to engage with a problem that sits miles out at sea.By turning the country sized trash patch into an official country we not only achieved this but allowed them to understand the scale of the problem.The campaign was targeted at LADBible’s young, politically active audience - the generation that would have to deal with this problem if not addressed.We asked them to sign up and become a citizen of The Trash Isles.In doing so we targeted them with our campaign message “Ensure the World’s First Country Made of Trash is its Last” Having handed in our application to the Secretary General of The United Nations on June 8th 2017 we then created a whole range of content to recruit citizens and raise awareness of the problem – all hosted on The Trash Isles Hub on the homepage of LADBible,We had videos solely dedicated to educating people about the problem, experts in the area shared their stories through articles and interviews, we had celebrities pledging their support and speaking up on social media sites. Posters and web banners asked people to become citizens. All the countries assets, the money, the passports, the flag and the stamps, were sent to journalists to build intrigue. And partnering with we sent out targeted emails to get people to sign our petition to back the application.In all, the campaign recruited citizens and raised awareness of the problem not only through LADBible’s extensive network but through millions of earned media impressions.

Results: Over 220,000 people signed the petition and became citizens.We had 690,000 likes, shares and comments.In total The Trash Isles campaign had over 50 million video views.Utilising LADBible’s global network and through earned media we reached half a billion people with the campaign.Fox News, CNN, National Geographic, Europe 1, IBT, Daily Mail, Reuters were just some of the major networks / papers that covered the campaign. Big names celebrities in the category got on-board the campaign including Al Gore and Sir David Attenborough.All this led to a comment from the UN about the campaign and drove the issue to the front of the political agenda. In part due to the campaigns’ success plastic in the oceans has become a big discussion point around the world and 193 countries have pledged to tackle global crisis of plastic in the oceans at the most recent UN conference.

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