Creative, PR, Marketing & Advertising

Wire challenge you to face the plastic inside yourself

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On 24th January 2019 the WardWilliams Creative team headed to BAFTA HQ for the creative prize of the year – The Creative Shootout.  Every year is an opportunity to marvel at the creative powers of some of the UK’s top creative agencies, and this year didn’t disappoint.  What makes The Creative Shootout even more unique, is that each year highlights an extremely important cause.  This year the organisation in the spotlight was A Plastic Planet.

The plastic issue is one we are all aware of, from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet to the way we think twice about single use carrier bags and drinking straws – we think we know the plastic problem.  However, from the statistics and information highlighted at The Creative Shootout, the epidemic is so much worse than I personally anticipated.

Turn off the Plastic Tap

Of all the scary stats – 2 million plastic bags are produced every single minute – plastic production is due to increase 5-fold by 2050 – the one piece of information that rang over and over in my head was; every single piece of plastic that has ever been made is still here. Every. Single. Bit.

“Of all the plastic made in the world in 2015, approximately 40% was used for packaging and nearly half of this was food and drink”

A Plastic Planet

A Plastic Planet (APP) is a grassroots movement launched in January 2017 with the goal of dramatically reducing the use of conventional plastic; especially that used to package our food and drink.

“Recent history has proven that recycling this kind of plastic is not the answer; it is valueless, too difficult to reclaim and often contaminated. It’s fundamentally the wrong use of plastic in the first place. But right now, the public have no choice but to buy their food and drink packaged in this indestructible plastic. When you can buy gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free; why can we not buy plastic-free?”

A Plastic Planet

We are all Plastic Addicts, including A Plastic Planet Founders

One of A Plastic Planet’s core beliefs is; “No blame or guilt.” There is no finger pointing or shaming, just a commitment for us all to take a responsibility. Founders Frederikke Magnussen and Siân Sutherland themselves are self-confessed plastic addicts:

“We are all plastic addicts. We have all created this plastic pollution disaster together. This is not a time for finger pointing. We have sleepwalked into this self-made nightmare and we now need to fast-track out of it. Together. We call for collaboration between all supermarkets, brands and industry. Let us not just consider competitive advantage but open source all new solutions so we can work together to accelerate the pace of essential change.”

A Plastic Planet

APP also only focus on plastic used for food and drink packaging which they believe is the wrong use of this otherwise “miracle material”. They are not focused on plastics that are used in any other sector including health, aviation and communication.

The Brief

In mid-2018, APP launched the world’s first Plastic Free Consumer Trust Mark.  The Trust Mark sits on front of the pack, initially on food and drink products.  It tells the shopper just one thing – this packaging is plastic free, i.e. guilt free. They want this Trust Mark to be aspirational, globally recognised and unassailable as the true champion of plastic free packaging.

 A Plastic Planet currently have over 90 brands and businesses applying for the Trust Mark. In 2019 they want to increase this to 1500. Their ideal targets would be big FMCG companies such as Nestlé, Mondelez and Unilever – because when big internationals start to change, the whole world will benefit.  APP’s challenge to The Creative Shootout teams was to raise the profile of the trademark and help them achieve their target.

And as always there were some fantastic ideas, from Barbie finally realising what an indestructible “plastic bast*rd” Ken really is, to taking over the comic relief red nose.  Brands 2 Life wanted us to go into battle, recognising that nothing brings a nation together like a good fight! Ready 10 saw the farce in repacking fruits and vegetables that already come with their own, naturally occurring packaging, and encouraged us to “get naked” with their “body positive” campaign.

“You can’t put a price on health, but you can put a logo on it” (Wire)

Wire won with their idea of making the plastic issue personal.  Really personal, as in, actually inside yourself!  They suggested taking mobile units to the streets to encourage the public to take the “plastic free test”.  This would analyse how much plastic is currently in our bodies.  They also highlighted the reasons why the current “plastic equation” doesn’t work. If we know plastic is bad, why haven’t we done anything about it yet?  It comes down to two very sad points; 1, if it doesn’t directly affect us, we don’t care, and 2, if there is no financial incentive, we don’t care. Oh, humans! 

So, Wire proposed to tackle this by making us see that the plastic issue is INSIDE us and affecting our health, in order to engage and then harness consumer power.  They also recognised that the change really needs to come from “the top.” It’s the CEO’s of multinationals that have the power to stop the plastic tap.  Wire’s approach to this was to create a simple online tool that would allow consumers to email the CEO’s of all the big stores – Tesco, Aldi, Sainsburys etc – to demand plastic free packaging.

FareShare of success with The Creative Shootout

The Creative Shootout really does make a difference. Last year’s charity FareShare came back to share the success of last year’s campaign from Raw London. James Persad, Head of Marketing and Engagement, took to the stage to thank last years winners and The Creative Shootout organisers for the positive experience as well as a 9% increase in volunteers, which, for a small organisation is a significant amount.

Don’t miss out, take part next year

The Creative Shootout will be back next year, if you want to get involved, we will announce the opening for entries on our website and social media, so make sure you follow us and stay in touch.

Congratulations again to Wire and all of the entrants for another fantastic year.

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