This week I attended the launch of a new initiative called One Day. One Day is a Start initiative. Start is a programme inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales to encourage the British public to start to live more sustainable lives. Start is supported in One Day by Business in the Community and The Marketing Society, of which I am a Fellow. The aim on One Day 1.11.11 is that all marketing communications embrace one central consumer theme; “Think about and do something sustainable today”. It is a mass call to action driven by the collective power of the marketing community, using 1.11.11 as the Day to start the change.
The objectives of One Day are to:
· Get 1 million consumers to pledge to change their lifestyle in one small way which will make better use of natural resources.
· Get 100 plus top brands engaged in One Day
· Demonstrate the persuasive power of the UK marketing industry
Companies will be invited to:
· Devote a minimum of £50k of their marketing budget to sustainability related marketing communications on 1.11.11
· Ask their consumers to take one simple step related to their brand(s) which will make better use of natural resources
· Consider how their business can develop further sustainable marketing initiatives pre and post One Day
· Supporter companies will be asked to contribute £5k towards the cost of organising the One Day campaign
Consumers will be invited to choose one simple action as a result of One Day to make a huge difference; for example, drive more carefully to conserve petrol, buy energy saving products, turn off taps, lag a roof with wool rather than fibre, walk more… a single step that can as part of the whole country’s actions create lasting, measurable change.
Jo Kenrick CEO of Start believes that businesses can benefit in the following ways:
· Something new and big to engage their consumers
· Use of the Start logo for one month (three months for Start partners)
· Being part of a widely supported high profile collaborative campaign
· The opportunity to increase sales of brands which encourage sustainable behaviour change
· Participants after agreeing the credibility of their message would have their activity profiles on the Start website
· Potential editorial support with ITV through both online and live content
· Possible incorporation of the Start campaign theme, “Start Something Good” into brand advertising
Supporting Jo in the launch of this concept were Paul Pritchard of MORE TH>N, Hugh Bishop of Meteorite, Catherine Woolfe of E.ON and Dalton Leong of Global Radio. Paul said that the sustainability agenda was now the norm in financial services in B2B channels but there was now the need to establish it in the mainstream consumer channel. The majority of consumers are quite open to buy more sustainable products and services but will not compromise on price and performance.
Hugh Bishop of Meteorite , the advertising agency who came up with the idea of One Day, said the idea was born out of both a sense of guilt and recognition of an opportunity. The way to motivate consumers to change behaviour was not to frighten them or force them to deny themselves what they had become accustomed to. Rather it was to excite them with the opportunity to adopt new practices such as planting bee friendly plants in your own garden.
Catherine Woolfe, Head of Advertising and Brand Strategy at E.ON, said that an organisation such as an energy company had to demonstrate its own commitment to sustainable practices before it could persuade its customers to come on the journey. It was important to get the language right as much of the green agenda had become derailed with phrases that don’t resonate in the right way such as “saving the planet.” It was vital to make it easy for consumers to change. For example the take up of solar panels even with very generous government subsidies had been slow by ordinary householders because they found the proposition complex. However farmers got it, as they understood subsidies, and had gone for solar panels in a big way.
Dalton Leong, the new Managing Director of Global Radio, Charities and Communities is probably better known in his previous role as Chief Executive at The Shooting Star Children's Hospice, the hospice that looked after Ivan Cameron. Dalton thought the key to success in initiatives like this would be collaboration among industry sectors. We are all marketers and like to compete but it might be necessary to collaborate first to agree parameters. Once these are well established and understood by consumers there will be plenty of opportunities to compete.
After the presentation I discussed this theme with Jo Kenrick. I suggested to her that the idea would be really successful if she could persuade a few key industries like financial services and energy that had been represented on the panel and like retailers where good progress had already been made, to collaborate on this programme if only for One Day as that would be so much more powerful. She agreed and said that she had already got some initial agreement among key retailers like Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Waitrose and B&Q to collaborate on another Start initiative and perhaps that could extend to One Day.
In summary One Day aims to, for one day, transform the collective power of the marketing community into a force for change. A day where every television ad, poster, direct and digital communication will be geared towards helping consumers think and act more sustainably. A mass call to action, using 1.11.11 as the day to Start the change.
If you are interested in taking part please contact:
Jo Kenrick, CEO Start
020 7566 8650