AToMiC 2019: Sustainable shifts

Rethink and Havas thought up bold, socially-conscious campaigns for IKEA and Greenfield Natural Meat Co.

IKEAThis article appears in the March/April 2019 issue of Strategy.

The win: IKEA’s “Climate Change Effect” by Rethink
Gold Cause & Action

Hurting your business to follow through on a promise – that’s commitment.

IKEA and Greenfield Natural Meat Co. have goals to become sustainable brands, and they’re not afraid to lose money in the process.

First, IKEA wanted to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability by bringing global attention to the issue around the planet’s rising temperatures. Despite dire warnings, the world is still slow to act. So the retailer set up a simple experiment to demonstrate what climate change would feel like in 2025 (when temperatures are expected to rise four degrees).

IKEA and Rethink turned down the air conditioning system inside one of its stores and the temperature quickly rose to predicted levels. It didn’t take long for customers to feel the effects of climate change first-hand, with the experience filmed and then shared on social.

As a result of the experiment, visitor numbers declined, sales were well below target, and the number of people who stayed to purchase something from IKEA was down 10%. Sentiment for IKEA, however, was overwhelmingly positive, with people commending the experiment and the brand’s efforts to become a sustainable brand.

A meat company tells people to eat less meat

meatlessMondayThe Wins: Greenfield Natural Meat Co.’s “Meatless Monday” by Havas Canada
Silver Shift; Bronze Cause & Action

Greenfield also took a bold step and asked people to stop eating meat, even if it risked their bottom line.

With consumption rates of meat at an all-time high, the “Meatless Monday” campaign set out to convince consumers to eat more sustainable meat, but also to eat less meat in general.

The campaign launched with a video that outlined the benefits of going “meatless,” and asked people to take the pledge. It also drove consumers to a microsite where they could find statistics, along with meatless recipes. In all, the brand generated more than 100 million media impressions and saw a 434% jump in brand affinity.