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2018 Silver Best use of experiential


Agency: Ogilvy

Client: Greenpeace

Campaign name: Ocean of the Future

Campaign overview

Leading the fight against plastic in our seas

The brief

Greenpeace has always campaigned against ocean pollution and now it’s more important than ever.

By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Ogilvy partnered with Greenpeace to raise awareness outside of their core audience and to drive people to sign their petition against supermarket plastic waste.


By embedding behavioural science at the heart of the strategy, the campaign raised awareness and prompted action.

The strategy was grounded in three behavioural science principles:

Concreteness Effect
People process concrete concepts faster than abstract ones, and the concept of ocean plastic, which conjured up images of faraway seas, was as abstract as they come.

Optimal Distinctiveness
Ideas are best understood and embraced when they have a blend of the familiar and the distinctive. So the campaign took something of the audience’s world and subverted it, showing how the issue was not a distant one, but one that affected them.

Identifiable Victim Effect
People have more empathy when a problem is reduced to an identifiable victim, rather than spread over a large group. Ocean plastic is such a large problem that will affect so many people, so the campaign had to find an identifiable victim the audience could empathise with.


The three behavioural principles were used as the lodestar throughout the creative process.

The solution needed to be a visual one so the ‘The Ocean of the Future’ became not just an advert, but a real-life activation to force the audience to really process the issue and understand what was at stake.

Taking place in an aquarium, the issue was brought into the audience’s world, making it more relevant to their lives.

Using the reactions of school children meant capturing their crest-fallen faces as they realised they would not be seeing any fish which created a huge sense of loss.

The audience needed to engage with the film on an emotional level rather than a rational one to drive the action demanded by the strategy.


Raising awareness was important, and the reach results show success in bringing this issue to the attention of more people globally.

The key result here was the number of petition signatures.

From the briefing to the creative thinking, via the strategy, this was a campaign that had behavioural science at its heart, and measured not on awareness, but on actual action taken.

By pairing the motivation of the film with the clear call to action to sign the petition, the work gave the audience an immediate opportunity to convert their emotional reaction into real-world action against a clear ‘enemy’.


Ogilvy - Mick Mahoney, Chief Creative Officer - Martha Riley, Creative Director - Ran Stallard, Art Director - Clare Donald - Chief Production Officer - Jodie Sibson, Agency Producer - Chloe Brown, Assistant Producer - Kevin Chesters, Chief Strategic Officer - Katharine Easteal, Business Director - Kit Owens, Strategist

Hoi Polloi - Chris Hugall, Director - Peter Shuttleworth, Producer - David Pimm, DOP - Max Smith, Camera OP - Jo Mooney, Art Director - Duncan Ettie, Sound - Nye Williams, Editor

Soundtree Music - Peter Raeburn, Composer & Orchestration - Luke Fabia, Orchestration - Henning Knoepfel, Sound Mix

GPS - Annika Gustavsson, Producer

UNIT - Nick Dalby, Telecine - Isabella Wakley, Producer


Kinetic Worldwide, Ocean Outdoor, Soundtree, Unit, Gramercy Park Studios, HOI POLLOI

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