Cannes Lions

Greenpeace 'Rang-tan'

MOTHER, London / GREENPEACE / 2019


1 Silver Cannes Lions
1 Bronze Cannes Lions
2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Case Film
Supporting Content
Presentation Image






In January 2018 palm oil wasn’t well-known by the UK population, let alone the impact producing it has on delicate rainforest environments - a football pitch of virgin rainforest is destroyed every 25 seconds. This is despite palm oil being present in around 50% of all packaged goods, an eclectic selection ranging from chocolate to shampoo. Our aim was to change this situation, change attitudes towards palm oil and change corporate behaviour:

firstly by raising awareness of palm oil in the UK public (from a base of 65.6%)

then getting 200k supporters to sign our petition against dirty palm oil and register as supporters of our campaign

finally using that display of attitudes towards palm oil, encouraging corporations that produce, supply or use palm oil to eliminate deforestation in palm oil their supply chains


We turned to the oldest method of communication - we told a story, simplifying the complexity and representing it with an arboreal mammal that is relatable to us humans. Our story featured a baby orangutan, stranded in a human child’s bedroom as her rainforest home has been destroyed. She tells an accessible version of what is happening in the rainforest. Animated, allowing us to convey a much broader range of information than live action would allow. Rang-tan is a long term spokesperson for the rainforest, and a property that could be repurposed multiple times across different media. Like the most memorable stories, nursery rhymes, Rang-tan was written to be rhyming, building the sticky nature of its content with our multi-generational audience.


We didn’t set out with rigid approach. We continually adapt our strategy to broaden the audience and the response achieved. The only set element was taking the emotional story route, not shock tactics, to help broaden the audience. Our story was spread using a combination of minimal paid media (cinema, Facebook and YouTube), support from Greenpeace’s famous supporters, additional distribution by Iceland (fulfilling the role of an influencer and reaching a much broader audience of everyday folk than Greenpeace could alone), editorial media engagement, before we managed to create critical mass for the story to go viral online - the clear CTA resulted in the official Greenpeace petition gathering an initial 1.2m opted-in supporters. An audience-initiated petition another 1m signatures in support of Rang-tan. Our strategy repeatedly amplified the different facets of this story for social and editorial media to keep palm oil in the public consciousness.


Our campaign was multi-part. First launching in August, online and in cinemas. It was spread by a range of well-known Greenpeace supporters - from Liam Payne (32.5m followers) to Stephen Fry (12.7m followers). In November we enlisted a new type of influencer, Iceland the supermarket, who were in the final phase of removing palm oil from own branded products. Iceland has a huge reach, especially everyday audiences who aren’t traditionally environmental campaigners. They agreed to use Greenpeace’s film as their Christmas TV ad, must-win time for retailers. Outdated rules stood in the way of this, we implemented an earned and social media approach to get Iceland’s film out. A rapid media engagement programme, alongside environmental advocates spreading the message organically. The call to action was purposefully integrated into our story, plus in the Greenpeace version it was repeated in the end frame.



80m+ views of film

267m+ on social, 82m engagements

800+ pieces of editorial coverage = reach 4.2 billion

UK awareness of what is palm oil up 7%, to 73.5% or an extra 4.6m people


1.2m+ support Greenpeace petition, 84,000 converted to regular donors

1,000+ schools contacted Greenpeace for teaching materials (c. 250k school children)

Palm oil Google searches up 10,000%, Twitter mentions up 61,900%

1m+ signed an audience-initiated petition to get Rang-tan on TV


Ocado introduced a palm oil-free aisle, searches for “palm oil-free” up 28%

Malaysia-based NGO the RSPO voted to incorporate 'no deforestation' into its principles

The world's largest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, 40% of the world's supply, promised to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain in a detailed action plan, citing Greenpeace’s campaign as a factor in that decision

Similar Campaigns

12 items

The next normal

DDB , Paris

The next normal

2021, UNESCO

(opens in a new tab)