Connecting with people through eye-catching and headline-grabbing PR stunts is a tried and tested method of raising awareness of social and political issues – here’s a handful of our favourite eco-friendly examples:
Epson: Swimming in Ink
Epson teamed up with Walt & Company to launch their innovative EcoTank printers in Times Square. The ‘Swimming in Ink’ stunt featured a 17,000-gallon tank and a series of high-energy synchronised swimming performances by the US National Swim Team, whilst kitted in CMYK swimsuits. The experience was broadcast across Times Square billboards, as well as via an 8-hour live stream. Passers-by had the opportunity to try the EcoTank printers themselves in the photo tent.
Kopparberg took London parkgoers by surprise with a 3.5 metre-high truck built from up-cycled materials to encourage recycling. The truck was kitted out with a giant mechanical wheel to retrieve empty bottles and cans, which in turn provided music from the truck’s 87 speakers.
The Joy of Bees was an immersive piece experiential art for hotel chain, Relais & Chateaux. The installation, curated by Bompas and Parr, included a buzzing live honeybee observation hive, honeycomb art, cookery demonstrations, and honey tasting led by a honey sommelier. The stunt reflected Relais & Chateaux’s dedication to ecology and sustainability. The unique design experience highlighted the importance of the survival off the bees, with all proceeds donated to The British Beekeepers Association.
Lacoste raised awareness for endangered animals with its Save Out Species campaign. The iconic crocodile logo was replaced by animals in danger of extinction. The number of polos created for each animal directly corresponded to how many of the species remain in the wild. This campaign adopted a subtle approach, and cleverly tapped into the desire for limited edition items. Proceeds were donated to the International Union of Conservation of Nature.
WWF Endangered Pandas
With similar intentions to the Lacoste campaign, the World Wildlife Fund conducted an immersive experience for the people of Paris. 1,600 papier-mâché pandas paved the grounds of the Eiffel Tower to represent the number of pandas remaining in the wild at that time. The display created a strong visual impact against the iconic backdrop. This prompted passers-by to share the scene across social media, consequently reaching a greater audience.
Corona’s Plastic Wave
Corona partnered with Sketch Events to highlight the issue of plastic waste on World Oceans Day. The billboard, located in Shoreditch, read ‘This wave of waste contains the average amount of marine plastic pollution found on every two miles of beach in the UK’. The dramatic display created a splash across social media with thousands of shares and counting, using the #100islandsprotected.
Corona Hawaiian Shirts
In addition to the wave of waste display, Corona released a range of Hawaiian shirts with a twist. The garments were made from 100% recycled plastic and appeared to show a traditional pattern. However, upon closer inspection, the illustrations include plastic objects such as toothbrushes and plastic bottles. Corona suggest that this represents that “the issue at a distance is hard to see, but pervasive up close”.
University of Hull: Delve Deeper
Sketch Events worked with the University of Hull to raise awareness of plastic pollution with a unique PR stunt. Sketch gave marine life a voice by staging a protest on Hessle Foreshore beach at the foot of the Humber bridge. The placards emphasise the threat we’re imposing upon the ocean ecosystem and encourage less plastic usage.