Environment right for Scali

Scali McCabe Sloves stretched its marketing dollar by raising funds for its media program through corporate sponsorships.As a result, the agency turned a $50,000 media budget into a full-scale production worth $350,000.In August 1992, Scali won the first substantial account from...

Scali McCabe Sloves stretched its marketing dollar by raising funds for its media program through corporate sponsorships.

As a result, the agency turned a $50,000 media budget into a full-scale production worth $350,000.

In August 1992, Scali won the first substantial account from b.c.’s newly-elected ndp government to create a broad-based media campaign for the Ministry of Environment.

50% reduction

The ministry had committed itself to a 50% per capita reduction of solid waste by 2000.

Limited to $200,000 in its entire communications budget, Scali decided on a public affairs approach to extend its marketing dollars.

The agency’s proposal centred on the production of a controlled message to take people to the next step in the recycling effort.

The campaign focussed on creating a television special that could take a humorous and interactive approach to recycling garbage in the home.

‘We wanted to avoid the impression of having the preachy hand of government on the program,’ says Judy Baldwin, senior public relations counsel for Scali.

‘We wanted to give the message entertainment value, along with being informative,’ Baldwin says.

However, the budget would not allow a full-scale tv production.

The agency’s public relations arm turned to local corporate and media sponsors to help fund the production.

‘We found that corporate donors’ expectations are greater today, meaning that they are interested in creating new forms of raising their identity,’ Baldwin says.

‘This approach allowed sponsors to get involved,’ she says.

It accomplished this by gaining sponsorship support from Vancouver tv station BCTV to co-produce and provide the air-time.

In all, the agency collected more than $55,000 in production resources, air-time, and media sponsorship worth more than $80,000.

Seven times budget

All together, the entire production would have cost $350,000, according to Baldwin.

Radio station cknw provided advertising promotion for the program. The Vancouver Sun daily newspaper promoted the show in print ads, headlined, ‘Don’t Miss This Trashy Special on BCTV.’

Other print ads promoting the program ran with the headline, ‘B.C. is famous for its mountains,’ showing a cartoon-like mountain of garbage.

The half-hour tv program, featuring Vancouver actor Jackson Davies, ran twice in the first six months of this year, appearing on Saturday nights.

Scali then timed a direct marketing effort to coincide with the tv special.

Flyers were created to provide consumers with the tools necessary for home recycling campaigns through home clean-up tips.

Scali’s media relations effort focussed on two separate ‘green’ promotions.

A holiday promotion and media event publicized alternative gift wrappings for Christmas. Another promoted a spring clean-up checklist to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ household goods.

‘How Green Is Your Home?’ brochures were distributed through each of the retail outlets of participating sponsors. A hotline number was featured on the 1993 BC Tel Directory covers.

A sales promotion campaign, offering an ocean kayak expedition as a contest prize was advertised and promoted through corporate sponsors.

Since the campaign began, calls to the Recycling Hotline increased by 14%. The Green Holidays campaign received a 17%+ awareness level, according to Angus Reid research.

However, Scali McCabe Sloves ranks its ability to gain community support for the project as the highest achievement in the campaign, according to Baldwin.

‘Sponsors and government’s willingness to co-operate at all levels allowed us to significantly leverage our financial resources,’ she says.

‘The multiplier effect got us much greater impact and produced a much more cost-efficient way of managing communications.’