Air Miles flies green with ‘My Planet’

The consumer loyalty program harnesses its reach into over 70% of households to inspire Canadians to live and practice a more sustainable lifestyle.

Inspiration
For almost 18 years, Canadian retailers have used the Air Miles Reward Program to create and enhance consumer loyalty. With over 10 million active collector households across the country and over 120 sponsors, Air Miles harnessed its reach into over 70% of households to inspire Canadians to live and practice a morTe sustainable lifestyle through the launch of the “My Planet” program.

Strategy
Backed by participating sponsors, Air Miles collectors, employees and leading environmental not-for-profit organizations, Air Miles created the “My Planet” program around three components:
First, inspiring by rewarding: Air Miles recognized that mainstream consumers need an entry point into purchasing environmentally preferable products, and that these products are often associated with a sense of sacrifice like higher costs or lower quality. Empowering sponsors to reward their consumers with an incentive – reward miles – was designed to act as an activating tipping point (61% of collectors stated that they would be more likely to purchase green products with this incentive).
Air Miles worked with each participating sponsor to create a set of selection guidelines to help ensure that only authentically “green” products and services were included in the program.
The second focus was on sustainable lifestyle education. Air Miles leveraged the 300 million yearly page views Airmiles.ca receives by creating Airmiles.ca/myplanet for sustainable lifestyle guidance.
Finally, redeeming responsibly: collectors could now redeem their miles for over 140 environmentally preferable reward options passed through a qualification process designed by environmental accreditation organization TerraChoice Environmental Marketing (managers of the Government of Canada’s EcoLogo standard).
Internally, LoyaltyOne, the company that operates the Air Miles Reward Program, appointed a chief sustainability officer to direct and execute a broad set of corporate sustainability initiatives across the entire organization, including the installation of Canada’s largest rooftop solar installation on LoyaltyOne’s Mississauga office.

Execution
Working with Publicis (creative and mass), Direct Antidote (direct-to-consumer), Teehan+Lax (online) and Ove (brand development), the campaign led by SVP and CMO Neil Everett included over 130 million impressions through print and TV, PR, branding on Air Miles vehicles, ads in partner flyers and shelf-talkers displayed directly in front of “My Planet” bonus offer products.
The launch also included the creation of a first-of-its-kind “Green Responder” customer segment, which includes over one million Canadians who have demonstrated their concern for the environment through action – in this case, by purchasing a green product that has a “My Planet” bonus offer, redeeming their reward miles for green rewards or spending time on the Learn section of the microsite.
 
Results
The campaign resulted in 150% of target collectors engaged, 148% of awareness goal and 121% of target website visits.
It involved 20 participating sponsors (against a target of 10), including Rona, Metro, Safeway, Sobeys, Jean Coutu, AMEX and BMO. “My Planet”impacted sales positively, as demonstrated through a grocery case study which saw an increase of 17.6% in sales year over year.
In total, 140 environmentally preferable reward options were available, exceeding redemption targets for a total of 133%.

Judges’ comments
“Air Miles offers a significant opportunity for tangible change by empowering a large segment of the Canadian public to make consumer choices that have a positive environmental impact. It goes beyond a ‘campaign’ and actually is a different way of doing business.” – Ersilia Serafini

“The ‘My Planet’ program is so well aligned with the brand and corporate strategy, and it engages its large customer base in environmental change in an easy way. I love this program. It is smart, simple and high-impact!” – Adine Mees

 

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Judging panel