Onwards and upwards.

McKim’s first campaign for the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) had yielded incredible results and put the organization back on pace to reach its ultimate goal of a minimum 75% recovery in Manitoba. But, even with this early success, CBCRA could not rest on its laurels. To keep increasing recovery habits, McKim and CBCRA needed to introduce a new message to the market — or risk audience fatigue and indifference to the previous call to action.

 

What they told us: There’s confusion around specific container types

In addition to the risk of fatigue, research was showing varying levels of recovery for different container types, and in different communities. For example, Manitobans widely understood that aluminum cans and plastic bottles were recyclable, but audiences were less sure about glass bottles, juice boxes and gable top containers, and the lower recovery results for these container types reflected that confusion.

We also observed some specific patterns in different communities across the province: in northern communities, glass bottles recovery was particularly low; in southwest communities, juice boxes showed lower recycling recovery.

 

What we saw: A unique opportunity to segment messaging

Closing these perceived knowledge gaps became the key focus of the campaign: we aimed to raise recycling recovery for less-recycled items, while maintaining the high recovery for others. So, in contemplating our strategy, we considered what beverage each container type was most often associated with. Aluminum cans are closely aligned with pop. So are plastic bottles, but increasingly, they’re more associated with water and energy drinks. Glass bottles, Tetra-style packs and gable tops are most often associated with juice.

This division of products led to two opportunities for audience segmentation, which we used to inform our creative approach. First, the target audiences for different beverage types, also differ. Young people are more often consumers of energy drinks; children and parents are a prime audience for juice; and adults are more likely to drink diet soft drinks.

Second, each of these beverage types has a marketing trope associated with it. Bottled water is often promoted by showing crystal-clear lakes and rivers. Energy drinks use high-intensity, upbeat messages. Soda is often a lifestyle brand. In other words…

Different people drink different drinks. And different drinks come in different containers.

While plainly obvious, this insight helped inform a creative strategy that would allow us to specifically target underperforming audiences and communities.

Enjoy It. Recycle It.

Building on the integrated approach used in the Transformation campaign, we leveraged advertising tropes to create ads that were on-category for each beverage type. We then based our media selection to place the ads where their respective audiences were most likely to see them. For instance, broadcast ads were created for plastic bottles, Tetra-style packs and aluminum cans; and each was placed during programming most likely to be viewed by audiences likely to choose to drink bottled water, boxed juice and canned soda, respectively.

The ongoing innovations in digital media helped us be even more precise online. Using geo-targeting and geo-fencing, we were able to target mobile ads to specific gathering places and communities, and distribute specific beverage container-themed creative to those audiences. This allowed us to target specific audiences (such as young people, with energy drink-themed creative) and entire communities (such as a higher proportion of glass bottle-themed creative in northern communities, or boxed drink-themed creative in the southwest).

A common line linked all of these themes together: “Enjoy it. Recycle it.” This straightforward approach not only unified the various campaign assets, but provided a memorable call to action irrespective of beverage type or beverage consumer.

Results

The “Enjoy it. Recycle It.” campaign continued CBCRA’s upwards trajectory. The campaign resulted in a 6.6% increase in total beverage container recovery, helping CBCRA achieve its highest level of recycling recovery to date. By the end of the campaign, nearly two-thirds of all beverage containers sold in Manitoba were being recycled.

6.6%

increase in total recovery.

8%

recovery rate (+4%).