In 2008, the Climate Change Directorate required a through-the-line campaign to help the Scottish Government meet its ambitious carbon reduction targets. The campaign was tasked with raising awareness amongst the Scottish public of their individual carbon emissions and the steps that they could take to reduce them. Their strategy focused on removing the perception that ‘being greener’ has to involve major sacrifices, whether physical, emotional or financial.
The Scottish Government developed a campaign that highlighted how greener actions can be ‘better for you, and for the environment’, and ensured that the issues and actions suggested were tangible, accessible, positive…and personal – the dealmaker for their target audience.
Greener Travel and Transport was the third outing for their campaign vehicle ‘Mr Earth’ that had previously tackled the issues of energy waste and food waste. Encouraging people out of their cars would however be a much tougher challenge.
Concept & Implementation
The Scottish Government developed a multi media campaign that could encourage their audience to ‘leave the car when they can’. This involved planting the seed at home, through high reach and repeat scheduling of 30’ and 20’ cut-down TV executions, and 30’ radio slots.
The message was re-enforced out of home through the 30’ radio commercial and 48-sheet poster campaign on key arterial routes. These targeted daily commuters at a time when the message would resonate highest – Yes, their journey at that moment might require a car, but did they really need to use the car later that evening when they popped to the shops?
Advertising on partnership media also supported the campaign with key Scottish Public Transport operators – First Bus, and First ScotRail playing an active role through the use of their fleet and websites.
Finally, the campaign website infoscotland.com/gogreener enabled people to engage with more detailed information on the subject.
Scotland-wide (eco-followers: carers non-doers) car drivers driving less than 2 miles.
This was a mass audience, but with a focus on the one specific element of their car driving behaviour that the Scottish Government knew they could change; the short trip that could be undertaken by other means.
Due to a high reach and repeat exposure, 76% of eco-followers were aware of at least one of the creative executions at a prompted level. 68% of those recalled more than one campaign platform. 84% of people who had seen the TV ad were also aware of the radio ad. Impressive results by any standard, and particularly for a campaign that sought to wean the public off their auto addiction.
It also seems that the message was salient. An astounding 90% agreed that the advertising delivered a ‘clear, important and believable message’.
But crucially, did it have any impact on the target audience’s relationship with their cars for short journeys?
49% of respondents said it ‘made me consider other means’ of transport for such journeys.