22: THE 'WISH WE’D THOUGHT OF THAT' AWARD (The 'Wish we’d thought of that' Award)
Eurythenes plasticus - WWF Germany
A new species
|Title of Entry:||Eurythenes plasticus|
|Product/Service:||A new species|
|Entrant Company:||BBDO Group Germany GmbH|
|Creative Team:||Chief Creative Officer: Till Diestel
Creative Managing Director: Kristoffer Heilemann
Executive Creative Director/Script: Andy Wyeth
Art Director: Bernd Rose
Art Director: Marco Serra
Art Director: Rosario Brancato
Copywriter: Christian Korntheuer
Copywriter: Marcos Alves
Creative Technologist: Martin Boeing-Messing
|Entry Notes:||For cat. 22 / The Wish we'd thought of that Award|
|Other Credits:||Client: Hanna Eberhard
Client: Theresa Reis
Planning Director: Benjamin Pleissner
Strategic Planner: Kyle Duckitt
Production Director/Producer: Kat Wyeth
Production Company: Sehsucht GmbH
Creative Support: Hans-Christoph Schultheiss (Sehsucht GmbH)
Producer: Stephanie Huelsmann (Sehsucht GmbH)
Chief Production Officer: Steffen Gentis
Post-Production Company: CraftWork – a brand of ad agencyservices GmbH
Music/Sound Design/Composer: Alex Komlew
Audio Production House: Studio Funk GmbH & Co. KG
Sound Engineer: Arne Schultze
Director: Hans-Christoph Schultheiss
Director Of Photography: Niklas Lemburg, Alexander Link
Editor: Juhn Kim
Animation: Juan Pablo Brockhaus, Lucas Wendler (Sehsucht GmbH)
Retoucher: pretty on point
Scientist/Voice Over: Dr. Alan Jamieson (Newcastle University)
Scientist: Johanna Weston (Newcastle University)
Media Agency: Hearts & Science Germany GmbH
Media Agency: OMG FUSE
Influencer Agency: Intermate Media GmbH
Social Media: Facebook Germany GmbH
PR Agency: Wildstyle Network GmbH
|Notes:||Eurythenes plasticus is an innovative form of environmental activism that got the world talking and taking action in the form of a petition calling for a legally binding UN agreement to put an end to marine plastic pollution. The ocean plastic problem is a global one and only with the support of an international governing body such as the United Nations do we have any chance in making lasting change. We not only combined various ad formats to drive action but we also used permanent museum exhibition partnerships to provide an educational experience to persuade people to support the cause. This incredibly ambitious idea was only made possible thanks to the bravery of the WWF and the amazing partnership between Dr Alan Jamieson and his team. Not only was it a risk to name a new species so publicly after plastic because of a potential backlash but to also fund a project with so many unknowns and hurdles was extremely admirable.
The ocean plastic topic is an important and ongoing initiative for the WWF. We were given the challenge for the German market to find a new spin on this problem that has become desensitized over time that could generate widespread attention and action with a very modest budget.
Germans are some of the best sorters of rubbish in the world, but well under 30% of our plastic is recycled. Rather than dealing with our own trash, Germany is the third biggest exporter of plastic waste (behind the USA and Japan) to countries in South East Asia. Because of less stringent regulations in these countries, this trash often ends up at landfill where it’s blown around in the wind, into rivers and ultimately into our oceans. Once in the ocean, the plastic gradually breaks down into microplastics and slowly falls to the sea floor where it can take up to 400 years to fully decompose. Through research, we found out that deep-sea species were being found with plastic contamination already in their bodies. One such study showed that 72% of the sampled deep-sea crustaceans contained plastic contamination. This insight created an interesting strategic opportunity to show the problem goes far deeper than previously imagined.
When you find a new species you get to give it a name. To highlight that our ocean plastic problem goes deep, we named a new deep-sea species after the plastic found inside its body - Eurythenes plasticus. This idea is the culmination of over one and a half years of collaboration together with world renowned marine ecologist Dr Alan Jamieson from Newcastle University. The campaign launched on 05.03.20 with the official publication of the Scientific Manuscript, creating history and making Eurythenes plasticus officially part of our planet’s taxonomic record. Within hours, a worldwide conversation had ignited over the extent of the plastic pollution in our oceans in over forty countries. Following the publication of the new species, we rolled out a cross-platform campaign (paid social, OOH, digital OOH, cinema) that encouraged people to sign a petition asking for a legally binding global UN agreement to put an end to marine plastic pollution. This cross over of advertising and science enabled us to eternalize the idea by partnering with museums in Germany and also internationally – including the Smithsonian – to permanently display the new species as an educative awakening for the conservation of our oceans.
Launched during the rise of COVID-19, Eurythenes plasticus still made a lasting and global impact.
- Eurythenes plasticus and the environmental topic was first discussed across all major German media outlets (Der Spiegel, Berliner Zeitung, Deutsche Welle, Bild, Welt, Stern etc) & then went global (BBC, Newsweek, Forbes, The New Yorker, The Evening Standard, CNN, The Indian Times, Nine News Australia, News.com.au, Gizmodo, The New Zealand Herald, Unilad, New Scientist, The China Post and many more).
- The media frenzy is estimated to have generated €12 million in earned media value and thanks to the social conversation, over 93 counties discussed plasticus online.
- The organic social conversation was even picked up by celebrities such as Anitta in Brazil who shared it with her 50 million followers.
- The petition to date has over 2 million signatures (120k in campaign period) & will be presented to the UN shortly.
- The permanent museum exhibitions have had over 410,000 combined visitors to date and new partnerships requests continue to be supported.
- Due to great interest from schools to integrate the subject into the curriculum, we developed together with the scientists the website plasticus.school as an international educational resource that has thousands of downloads to date.
- Eurythenes plasticus received a Guinness World Record as the first new species contaminated by plastic.