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WWF Challenges Creatives to Make Sustainability Sexy, Mainstream

Image credit: WWF-New Zealand

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is challenging the marketing industry to use its influence to help deliver a more sustainable future with the launch of Project Extraordinary, a global video challenge that will see creative agencies produce short films to demonstrate how sustainability can be desirable and sexy. The winning submission will be featured at the UN Social Good Summit and an additional three agencies will be featured at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.

Sustainability is not often viewed as a ‘must-have’ despite ample evidence illustrating the dangerous changes currently taking place around the world, including rising temperatures, intensifying natural disasters and dwindling natural resources. There is an urgent need for everyone to rethink how we can feed, fuel and power our society differently. Project Extraordinary challenges the world’s best creative teams to do just that.

The project aims to harness creativity to give sustainability mainstream appeal and encourage one billion consumers globally to make more than 50 percent of their purchases based on sustainability as one of the top three decision triggers by 2020.

“When I worked in the advertising world, it constantly surprised and inspired me how creatives approached a problem and developed ideas to solve them. The degradation of our planet is the single-most pressing problem facing our very existence. This project is a bold idea to harness creative power globally to help build a future where people live in harmony with nature,” said Livia Esterhazy, CEO of WWF-New Zealand.

Running from now until 12 April 2018, the competition is open to all registered creative, advertising or communications agencies around the world. Three concepts will be shortlisted as ‘Highly Commended’ by Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF, and a jury comprised of ‘How to Make Sustainability Sexy’ forum members, which include leaders from UN Environment, Google, National Geographic Society, Unilever, Timberland, Patagonia and IKEA. Shortlisted submissions will be filmed and produced by WiLD Studios in collaboration with the respective agencies. The winner of The Extraordinary Award will be chosen from the three ‘Highly Commended’ films.

“We know what we need to do; the science is there. The challenge is to make sustainability of our planet desirable. Inspirational. Let’s get personal and real. We need to stop talking in generalities and show every consumer in every corner of the globe exactly how they can be part of the solution,” Lambertini said.

With experts estimating only one percent of the materials used to produce consumer goods are still in use six months after sale, there is an urgent need to shift consumer attitudes and make sustainability a priority choice for people everywhere. According to WWF, the feedback from creative agencies has so far been encouraging, and the organization hopes to make the initiative an annual event.

“This is a history-making opportunity for a creative agency. To go beyond the documentary format typically applied to this topic and find a sexy and relevant way to reinvent the way sustainability is pitched to global consumers is clearly no small feat. This is why we’ve opened the challenge up to the best creative minds around the world,” said Carolyn Managh, Executive Producer at WiLD Studios. 

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]

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