Cannes Lions

Age of Change

BBC STORYWORKS, London / WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF) / 2023

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Overview

Background

Humans have a remarkable capacity for imagination and invention, enabling us to think beyond the present and unravel the most complex problems. But, in the face of a climate crisis, we can only achieve meaningful change if we work collaboratively and act globally.

A leading environmental charity wanted to create a space for businesses to share the work they are doing to restructure processes and rethink their legacies across the world. Through cinematic and thought-provoking branded films, the objective was to document progress being achieved by businesses of all sizes and sectors towards environmental sustainability. BBC StoryWorks wanted to create an inspiring space where professionals and consumers could see what was possible, through partnerships, investment, and creating green businesses. Beyond this, we wanted to create an “age of change” on social media – transforming perceptions on how businesses are working for a better planet.

Idea

We set out to inspire, create positivity, and change perceptions. To enable this we wanted to capture documentary-style films featuring the people behind the scenes, at all levels of industry, revealing the passion and progress at the heart of each business. We hoped to tell a narrative of transformation, optimism and acceleration that would amplify each brand’s goal and the positive message of businesses working in harmony with nature. Using human narratives and a solution-focused storytelling approach, we sought to produce immersive stories that would transport viewers and encourage them to think differently, as well as raising awareness of the meaningful efforts companies are making.

Audiences would continue their immersive experience from the films onto our bespoke BBC.com website and into our social media campaign, which both brought the wonders of nature to life through 3D animations and natural sound.

Strategy

While the difficulties facing the environment are unparalleled, the world is more conscious of the problems and solutions and more committed to addressing them than ever before. A 2021 BBC Global Minds Survey identified that climate change was of central and increasing concern to audiences, with 55% of respondents agreeing that they had become more concerned with climate change in the last year. Notably, when asked about which science topics they would be interested in reading about, the top answers were climate change and environment (72%), biodiversity and wildlife (67%), and sustainable development (64%). Additionally, on social media, our charity partner had recorded high engagement rates with female audiences aged 40+ but saw a much poorer rate of engagement from youth audiences, especially with content from businesses.

Making this series bought new possibilities to capitalise on attitude shifts and to capture the imagination of global audiences.

Outcome

135.6 million people saw our social campaign in the first six months. Our partners and the clients' network worked together, engaging with other stories from the series, making a community of businesses leading the way and working together, not in competition. We recorded astounding engagements from our own campaign, with 2.3 million engagements on our social posts. The website recorded over 564,660 visits in the first six months, 27x our benchmark, and user testing recorded live positive sentiments from audiences. We ran a film through our content impact tool. It achieved uplift in implicit brand association (101%), brand message (39%), and brand favourability (58%) - suggesting the storytelling approach resonated heavily with viewers. From the people who voted in polls to the affirming comments across social, the series was seen and engaged with by an open-minded audience.

“Collaboration is vital to achieve a fully sustainable future for the whole planet!”

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2023, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF)

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