Otrivin turns pollution into pencils...plus five more campaigns that turn problems into something positive.

Otrivin turns pollution into pencils...plus five more campaigns that turn problems into something positive.
Otrivin Pollution Pencils

In a world filled with an ever-expanding array of products and services, where consumer attention is fleeting and competition is fierce, transforming a problem into a positive product to raise funds or awareness of an issue can be a highly effective strategy. One that can tap into emotions and help build wonderful human narratives that resonate deeply. Or they can just be plain funny or evil and provoke a debate! Here are some great examples starting with this recently released heart-warming initiative by Otrivin and Wunderman Thompson.

Pollution Capture Pencils | Otrivin | Wunderman Thompson | 2023

A shocking 98% of children in India, including their classrooms, are exposed to toxic air, as revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO). This hazardous pollution affects their health in many ways and can even lead to asthma and childhood cancer. To address this issue, Otrivin, in collaboration with Wunderman Thompson teams from India and Singapore introduced Pollution Capture Pencils. These innovative pencils are crafted using pollution collected by air purifiers and are distributed to underprivileged children in Bengaluru, India. Additionally, the pencils serve as a means to raise funds for air purifiers in schools severely impacted by pollution. Initially launched in three low-income schools located in highly polluted areas, the initiative aims to purchase 100 new air purifiers by early 2023 to assist more schools in need. The long-term vision is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem through pencil sales, ensuring cleaner air for India's children.

Air-Ink | Tiger Beer | Marcel | 2017

Perhaps this lovely initiative from Tiger Beer could be seen as an early forerunner to Wunderman's campaign. To contribute towards a better environment free of toxic waste, Tiger Beer supported a start-up to create the world’s first ink created from air pollution. After a successful pilot, this campaign - which achieved a slot in the Warc 100 Creative Effectiveness rankings - has now expanded globally. Tiger Beer’s brand purpose is (or was) to partner with people with brave ideas “to uncage their tiger spirit”. While some might struggle with that phraseology it did help the brand to support and guide this stunning idea to fruition.

Dirty Water Color Exhibit | ABS-CBN Foundation | TBWA\ | 2016

In a unique endeavor, a group of artists in the Philippines harnessed polluted water to create thought-provoking artworks to highlight the issue. The artists used water samples sourced from Manila's most contaminated rivers to paint a series of pictures. The water was collected by TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno who ensured it was decontaminated and transformed into pigments of varying shades. Furthermore, to add greater resonance, the paintings depicted scenes inspired by photographs taken along the polluted riverbanks, showcasing the struggles of local communities and emphasizing the need for water cleanup. The artworks were exhibited together and all proceeds from the sales went to the ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation.

Shitty Paper Made From Hate | Goldeimer | Philipp und Keuntje | 2019

To combat hate propaganda from right-wing populists during the German federal election, Goldeimer, a toilet paper producer, launched a campaign seeking assistance to collect and recycle harmful material. Through collection events across various German cities, the hate propaganda was shredded and transformed into toilet paper. The resulting product, named "Shitty Paper - Made from hate," quickly sold out, with the profits donated to CURA, an organization supporting victims of right-wing violence in Germany. Despite starting with no funds, the initiative garnered a media value exceeding 1.6 million euros and reached over 10 million people within a remarkable four-month period.

Lullabies | No Ugly | Innocean | 2021

No Ugly's 'Lullabies' campaign promoted their Sleep variant, aiming to help the one in three Australians who experience sleep issues, The integrated campaign, launched on World Sleep Day, invited people to share their sleep troubles on Instagram for a chance to have them transformed into soothing lullabies sung by musician Brontë Horder. Stress triggers like bad lovers, noisy neighbors, work-related concerns, and even government alerts were all converted into calming melodies. Driven by social media and digital platforms. With No Ugly Sleep, enriched with sleep-inducing ingredients, this was a perfect example of creating an entertaining social campaign with brand relevance at its heart.

And finally, something a bit more subversive...

Pirate Subtitles | Belgian Entertainment Assocation | TBWA\ | 2017

Piracy was once niche, but now it's widespread and normalized, posing a major challenge for the film industry. The Belgian Entertainment Association aimed to raise awareness and reignite the debate on the issue. In collaboration with their agency TBWA\, they devised a creative idea during the Christmas holidays, uploading Pirate Subtitles for popular films and series. These subtitles featured intentionally incorrect dialogues, revealing the illegal nature of the downloaded content and promoting legal alternatives. To ensure their widespread use, they employed a bot to boost the ratings and rankings of their subtitle files. The campaign garnered significant attention from national media, sparking debates on TV and receiving praise on social media and within online communities.