Ogilvy UK & Greenpeace have released a new global campaign which urges the public and supermarkets throughout the UK to limit the use of plastic packaging. The new work presents a stark vision of our future ocean if action is not taken to stem the tide of throwaway plastic pollution. The impactful film comes off the back of the Greenpeace petition calling on supermarkets to dramatically reduce their plastic footprint, which has already been signed by over 437,000 people to date.
The concept behind the campaign was born through shocking statistics such as a truckload of plastic gets dumped into the ocean every hour. Since plastic takes years to decompose, almost every piece of plastic ever manufactured is still in existence somewhere on the planet – and plastic waste is set to double in the next decade if nothing is done. Rather than show the waste in its normal habitat, the Ogilvy UK team wanted to bring the damaging, ugly reality of plastic waste to somewhere unexpected: a usually pristine aquarium.
The video, created pro-bono for Greenpeace by advertising and marketing agency Ogilvy UK, opens on a school trip. An excited group of children are queuing at Dingle aquarium in the Republic of Ireland to see an ‘Ocean of the Future’ exhibition. The children excitedly shout out what they are most looking forward to seeing - penguins, octopus, catfish - and they eagerly rush into the aquarium to marvel at the abundance of ocean life. As the children look into the water they realise that they aren’t seeing colourful fish and marine wildlife at all. The aquarium is full of single-use plastic items like bags, cutlery and six-pack drinks can rings. The plastic floats and glides through the water mimicking ocean life. The children are dismayed as they realise that there aren’t any creatures at all. The ocean of the future is only clogged up with plastic rubbish.
The plastic waste featured was collected the day before the shoot from the local beach at Dingle, near the aquarium. It highlights that UK supermarkets generate 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging every year – making these businesses integral to leading the way in making a real different to how we produce and handle plastic.
‘Ocean of the Future’ will be shared with audiences online including through YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The campaign will also run offline in a series of outdoor adverts. It will be screened in cinemas, taking the concept to the big screen where audiences will feel immersed in ocean plastics, much like the group of school children in the film.
Mick Mahoney, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising London said: “We’re extremely proud to be partnering with Greenpeace to tackle what is a hugely pressing issue. Aquariums are often viewed as perfect, manicured worlds which give us a false sense of security when it comes to the state of our ocean - What we wanted to bring to life was the reality of what the future looks like if we continue as we are today. The support we’ve had to bring this idea to life has been incredible.”
Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner from Greenpeace UK, said: “This video provides such a powerful illustration of what’s at stake. We’ve seen from our own scientific surveys how plastic pollution affects the most iconic wildlife in the UK, from gannets on the Bass Rock to basking sharks in the Hebrides. Ocean plastic around the world causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of marine animals each year.
“A rubbish truck load of plastic goes into the world’s oceans every single minute, and supermarkets and other retailers need to act fast to turn the tide. Our supermarkets produce an enormous amount of packaging, so we’re asking them to take responsibility for this and eliminate non-recyclable ‘problem plastic’ packaging within a year, and phase out single-use plastic packaging from all their own brand products completely.”
Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Art Director: Ran Stallard
Producer: Jodie Sibson
Chief Creative Officer: Mick Mahoney
Assistant Producer: Chloe Brown
Chief Strategy Officer: Kevin Chesters
Chief Production Officer: Clare Donald