Generation Awake

The Awakeners: Using superheroes and local audiences to save the day.

Richard Rubbish - the new hero we created.

Thecontext

Europeans aren’t always conscious that they waste Earth’s limited resources. When ICF Mostra picked up an existing environmental-awareness campaign composed of key characters, we decided to put a spin on their world to achieve our new mission. We turned them into superheroes called ‘The Awakeners’ – complete with good and bad habits – and lots of household tips for consumers.
Our new character, Richard Rubbish, was created as a popular and light-hearted way to attract a wide audience to learn more about the value of waste as a resource and about responsible consumption. Let’s see how he saved the day…

Europeans aren’t always conscious that they waste Earth’s limited resources. When ICF Mostra picked up an existing environmental-awareness campaign composed of key characters, we decided to put a spin on their world to achieve our new mission. We turned them into superheroes called ‘The Awakeners’ – complete with good and bad habits – and lots of household tips for consumers.
Our new character, Richard Rubbish, was created as a popular and light-hearted way to attract a wide audience to learn more about the value of waste as a resource and about responsible consumption. Let’s see how he saved the day…

The Awakeners on the roof website
win a trip to copenhagen facebook contest

Thechallenge

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment aimed to target young urban adults and families with children with a message about the value of Earth’s limited resources and the everyday waste and habits we have. The idea was to show citizens different ways we can help contribute to a zero-waste society.
To raise public awareness on our consumption and waste habits, focus collective energies on recycling and reusing what is seen as ‘rubbish’, and expand the existing community of followers – the pre-existing Generation Awake campaign needed a makeover.  
With ‘The Awakeners’ team in place, ICF Mostra set out to change common perceptions about waste and engage Europeans to become ‘Awakeners’ themselves.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment aimed to target young urban adults and families with children with a message about the value of Earth’s limited resources and the everyday waste and habits we have. The idea was to show citizens different ways we can help contribute to a zero-waste society.
To raise public awareness on our consumption and waste habits, focus collective energies on recycling and reusing what is seen as ‘rubbish’, and expand the existing community of followers – the pre-existing Generation Awake campaign needed a makeover.  
With ‘The Awakeners’ team in place, ICF Mostra set out to change common perceptions about waste and engage Europeans to become ‘Awakeners’ themselves.

Water Maniac Walter in the Awakener House.
contest for creative recycling

Ourapproach

Richard Rubbish and his team invited the public to join the quest to change the common perception towards waste (and hopefully consumption habits), hooking them in via a film clip launched on social media that directed viewers to the team’s headquarters – a spruced up website in 24 languages, stuffed with interactive tips and videos.
Successful engagement initiatives allowed EU citizens to become ‘Awakeners’ and create something out of waste. Social media activities included 20 monthly posts and two popular recycle/reuse photo contests which generated more than 1,000 entries. Partnering with local agencies in four target countries on a Young Designers’ Contest ensured maximum relevance, reach and credibility at national level. We received more than 240 creative entries for the design contest, and IKEA and Tetra Pak even got involved as jury members.

Richard Rubbish and his team invited the public to join the quest to change the common perception towards waste (and hopefully consumption habits), hooking them in via a film clip launched on social media that directed viewers to the team’s headquarters – a spruced up website in 24 languages, stuffed with interactive tips and videos.
Successful engagement initiatives allowed EU citizens to become ‘Awakeners’ and create something out of waste. Social media activities included 20 monthly posts and two popular recycle/reuse photo contests which generated more than 1,000 entries. Partnering with local agencies in four target countries on a Young Designers’ Contest ensured maximum relevance, reach and credibility at national level. We received more than 240 creative entries for the design contest, and IKEA and Tetra Pak even got involved as jury members.

clean up beach day may 10

Theresults

The Generation Awake campaign shows that taking an informal, fun, playful and visual approach can make serious issues and policy goals more accessible. When coupled with customised press materials, the media happily picked up and promoted the campaign. We even got coverage in popular lifestyle magazines which typically don’t cover EU topics.
Media coverage averaged 150 reports/month on TV, radio, print and online. The campaign Facebook page gained a 45% increase in fans (up more than 42,100 people) in less than a year, while the website attracted almost half a million visitors in four months. The Awakeners film won a 2014 Cannes Gold Dolphin and has been viewed by 8 million people and counting.

 

All images & video © — 2013 - 2015 — European Union. All rights reserved.

 

The Generation Awake campaign shows that taking an informal, fun, playful and visual approach can make serious issues and policy goals more accessible. When coupled with customised press materials, the media happily picked up and promoted the campaign. We even got coverage in popular lifestyle magazines which typically don’t cover EU topics.
Media coverage averaged 150 reports/month on TV, radio, print and online. The campaign Facebook page gained a 45% increase in fans (up more than 42,100 people) in less than a year, while the website attracted almost half a million visitors in four months. The Awakeners film won a 2014 Cannes Gold Dolphin and has been viewed by 8 million people and counting.

 

All images & video © — 2013 - 2015 — European Union. All rights reserved.

 

Routine Robbie in the Awakeners house.