Look at these pictures. What do you see?
It’s trash we found everywhere on the streets and in nature.
It’s full of brands, brands that are part of our every day lives. But isn’t it weird that nobody seems to think it’s their responsibility to be more eco friendly too. Just like us, the people who buy their products?
Oh, what? Yes, we all need to stop using drinking straws and cue tips, but that seems like a very little effort, compared to what a lot of brands are still doing?
We ban the use of plastic bags in our grocery stores, but plenty of brands will still keep on wrapping everything in plastic, every day, all over the world.
Not only do we keep adding plastic to the soup every day, most brands keep on transporting the plastic all over the globe, leaving a big ass co2 footprint on our planet.
Yes, the brands need to make a serious effort, but what about the ad agencies?
Ad agencies love to make ads about sustainability and protecting nature, but do they actually walk the eco-friendly talk themselves?
The marketing and advertising industry helps brands and companies create campaigns about sustainability and eco friendliness, but in the meantime they fly to the corners of the world to shoot the commercials.
Ad agencies print a massive amount a paper in full colour ink every day.
They help brands create millions of posters that are seen for a week and then thrown away, and they keep on servicing companies that have been eco-unfriendly to our planet for decades. They help brands spend millions on banners and pretty dumb commercials, and zero on society and our planet.
We can go on, but we already feel bad enough.
It’s true, we are pretty guilty ourselves.
For the past 15 years we have won lions in Cannes and now are ashamed of it.
Why? Our last visit we remember how advertising execs and creatives from all over the world fly to Cannes, where the first thing they receive is a heavy bag full of clutter and plastic give-aways, that are mostly thrown away immediately. That same night they hand out awards to sustainability and green campaigns, and even award a green lion.
Our beloved advertising industry is at the source of the problem and we need to push our clients and our brands to start acting differently and start investing in a better greener way of marketing. Today.
Not because it’s our duty, but also because there will come a day when the consumer will start pointing towards the brands instead of the politics.
WHAT ABOUT US?
Someone’s got to do it, so here we go.
Here’s how We Plan to Become the Eco-Friendliest Ad Agency today.
Luckily it’s not too late for ad agencies to turn this around, but we need to start today.
Big kudos to those brands and agencies who are already doing it, but c’mon, we are sure you can do even better.
Here’s how we plan to do it at Friendship.
1. We installed a water filtration system on our office boat
We threw out the old engines which were obsolete anyway and used that space for a water filtration system that recycles our own water and filters the water of the dock we’re stationed in, making it cleaner.
2. Our office boat will run on solar power by the end of 2019
We also plan to ditch the power cable for solar panels and go almost completely off- grid. The only thing keeping us docked is our internet cable, and our love for our beloved hometown Antwerp.
3. We use used car batteries to store excess electricity
Together with Belgian car recycle expert Febelauto we are installing used car batteries that can store our excess solar electricity
4. We use recycled paper as much as possible
We print as little as possible and if we do, we do it on recycled paper. Our creatives sketch and brainstorm with used paper, that is picked up from the trash dump or neighbor-companies.
5. We use shared mobility to get around in Belgium
The most ecological car is the one that you don’t use.
We use Whim, a easy app that combines different transportation modes which we’ve been using frequently to get around in Antwerp and the rest of Belgium.
It doesn’t solve all our mobility troubles, but in combination with other mobility platforms we’ve managed to reduce our car usage by quite a lot.
6. We travel in Europe by train as much as possible
Sometimes there’s no other option than taking the plane, but we try to take the train as much as possible for our inter-European trips. If we fly, we travel super light and never with the discount airlines.
7. We choose video calls over unnecessary trips
We value brainstorms and real life meetings as much as the next agency, but sometimes a conference call over Hangouts or Skype is more than sufficient.
8. WE PLANT A BUSH ON OUR ROOF FOR EVERY NEW CLIENT
If we win a pitch or a new client signs with Friendship, we plant a bush in their name.
9. WE USE MAGNETS TO RETRIEVE TRASH FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE DOCK
Our HQ are in a dock in the Antwerp harbor. Every friday is fishday in Belgium and we take that literally. We declutter the bottom of the dock from metals, old bike parts and other crap, by retrieving them with big magnets.
10. WE RECYCLE IDEAS
Some ideas are too good to be thrown away. Such a waste of effort and time, in todays idea economy.
A good idea can be recycled and used for any brand that fits it strategically and conceptually. We keep all of them, available to our clients. It’s the age of attention, so that’s what an idea has to generate. No matter what.
11. WE PICK UP TRASH WHILE WE WORK
We all know that the best ideas do not come from staring at a screen. They pop up when we are in the world, doing things. Like picking up trash, while taking a walk and brainstorm.
12. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT A MARKETING BUDGET CAN DO SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST ADVERTISE YOUR BRAND.
It can make your brand become an important part of society, by investing in it.
If a brand gives back, it will get the return.
Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the end we all need to do something. Every effort counts.
As a marketeer and creative we sometimes forget how powerful our work can be. In todays society politics mostly don’t change things, brands do.
We have brands with budgets, that can really change things and redirect our planet towards healthier and better future.