Eurobest

Smart Forest

McCANN , Bucharest / VODAFONE / 2021

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Eurobest
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

The country of the last virgin forests in Europe is also the one with the most illegal logging. With 20 million square meters of wood disappearing every year from Romania’s ancient woods, understaffed rangers are helpless. But where no man can reach, there’s one thing that can: Vodafone’s mobile network. Building on the brand’s purpose of bringing technology solutions that help the planet, Vodafone wanted to give Romanians the means to protect the forest, while also demonstrating the power of its mobile network.

Idea

Vodafone gave ancient trees a voice in Romania’s first Smart Forest. Devices build from phone parts and fueled by solar power were installed at the top of the trees to monitor the woods. With AI analyzing all sounds in real time, the devices alert the authorities whenever danger is detected. Together with rangers and activists, we’ve documented the innovation and put its story on TV. Online people could find out more about the prototype combining nature and tech, while also being able to spread the news and create lobby for the solution to get Government support. With more than 13 million people reached, Smart Forest entered the public agenda, being labeled as “extremely useful and efficient” by the Minister of Environment.

Strategy

In a battle of superlatives, Vodafone had to claim its network’s superiority in a meaningful way. We chose to demonstrate what technology can do to help the planet. Caring for the environment is one of Vodafone strategic purpose pillars, while protecting the forest is a strong national legacy in Romania, the country where people consider the woods part of the family. With fighting illegal logging being the number one environmental concern for Romanians, we’ve put technology in their hands to help them give the forest a voice, for the first time.

Execution

Vodafone’s efforts to give the forest a voice started with a prototype Smart Forest, where 2 rangers had the impossible mission of protecting 4000 square meters of the woods. Together with them and activists we’ve equipped the trees with AI devices that allowed them to detect danger and alert the authorities in real time. The devices are made from recycled mobile phone parts, fueled by solar panels and powered by Vodafone’s mobile network.

We’ve documented the innovation and told the story of the forest as part of the family through the eyes of one of the rangers. The online documentary was also broadcasted on TV, while outdoors called everyone online where they could find out more about the nature-tech synergy and how they could help spread news to put the solution on the public agenda.

Outcome

142K euro earned media

+13 million people reach

#1 innovation lead brand

#1 responsible brand

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