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Pesticides in our drinking water has been a subject of public concern for some time now. While pressure increases for politicians to take action, Novafos, a water and wastewater company supplying 425,000 customers in the North of Sealand, decided to take matters into its own hands to stop the use of pesticides. “We want to be visible to our customers with the message that we supply clean and fresh drinking water, but that clean water is a resource we must protect together” explains Bo Lindhardt, Deputy Director and Head of Division for Water at Novafos.
Novafos wanted to have a strong voice in the public debate surrounding our drinking water and help raise awareness about the consequences of using pesticides: “The purpose of the campaign was to tell homeowners to stop the use of pesticides in their gardens as well as what you can do to preserve our clean drinking water – for present and future generations,” Bo Lindhardt says. But how do you get people to change their behaviour? Or even listen to the message in the first place? Novafos were well-aware they had to change their usual approach to get through to their customers with this important message.
Novafos put Sunrise in charge of the strategic and creative development of the campaign – from idea to execution. While the campaign strategy was quickly laid out, several paths were explored in terms of the creative execution: “It was obvious that we had to take a different approach, if we were serious about getting through to people. There are a ton of good causes out there and everyone is fighting for attention. We needed a fresh approach to get the message heard,” explains Mikkel Heideby, CCO & Partner at Sunrise and continues: “So we turned it upside down and invented a character who hates the only thing you’re not allowed to hate. Children. And then we had the hook we needed to create awareness.”
In the campaign film we meet Torben, a grumpy old man played by Søren Sætter-Lassen. He loves his garden but hates the neighborhood children, who ruin his garden and torment him. He has devised a cunning plan, however, to get vengeance by using pesticides in his garden, which will contaminate the drinking water.
Rune Svends Nielsen, Senior Art Director, Sunrise
“It has been a dream assignment: a client with a strong and important message – which had to be delivered with an edge. It would have been easy for the client to choose a more “cautious” approach for their information campaign, but they didn’t want to, and they definitely got that right.”
Due to the nature of the public health message, partnering organizations quickly got onboard and helped launch the campaign across channels, covering both online and offline media.
The campaign aired on Danish regional television and was backed by a supporting social media campaign, a campaign website, bus streamers, foiled cars, postcards, posters, roll-ups and much more. The bold, provocative message was therefore able to be rolled out across a variety of relevant touchpoints, reaching the target audience and successfully raising awareness with humour and impact. This is an issue that makes a difference to us all and with the new Novafos campaign we’re finally all talking about it.
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