COP26 Climate Change Innovation
In the past, Hitachi may have been known for its TVs and microwave ovens but the company has been moving away from only consumer goods. It has shifted toward a B2B offering, which has developed into a business built on social innovation for the last decade. This approach ties directly to Hitachi’s foundation of making superior products that improve people’s lives.
Hitachi is not just about smart technology and the integration of IT in infrastructure but also initiatives that can help the world achieve its net zero emissions targets.
The challenge for Hitachi has been to demonstrate that message with its commitment to change within its own operations while also helping customers’ businesses, organisations and governments on the path to net zero.
When influential decision-makers converged in Glasgow during November 2021 for COP26, the United Nations climate change summit, Hitachi was there as a principal partner to highlight its efforts as a climate change innovator championing decarbonisation. COP26’s many partners were vying to capitalise on the extensive buzz and media coverage and Hitachi was looking to rise above the commotion and elevate its status among global business leaders.
Hitachi needed to highlight the active role it is playing in climate change on the world stage throughout COP26 and beyond. Hitachi also had to demonstrate it could “walk the talk” in its commitment to the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, by joining the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign. Hitachi’s long-term environmental targets include achieving carbon neutrality at all its business sites by 2030 and an 80% reduction in CO₂ emissions across the company’s value chain by 2050.
The Content Solution
Hitachi wanted to work with a media partner that had European as well as global reach. The company harnessed the power of Reuters as the most trusted news organisation in the world to bring its story to the forefront before, during and after COP26, both in the virtual space and on the ground.
With unmatched coverage, access to influential audiences and an exclusive voice into the world’s media, Reuters has the unique ability to cut through the noise. It provided Hitachi a platform to inspire leaders by showcasing how the company is contributing to reducing environmental impact to create a more sustainable world.
Reuters positioned Hitachi as a climate change innovator through a multimedia campaign that spanned editorial alignment and highly targeted custom content designed and built around deep insights into Hitachi’s main audience. The content delved into the granular details of what matters to Reuters premium audience while linking to the Hitachi brand.
An example was taking its audience behind the scenes of Hitachi’s creation of the world’s first carbon zero ad. The Reuters campaign offered transparency into what Hitachi and its ad agency wasn’t sure was possible, and it provided a learning experience for other companies on the path to net zero.
Hitachi liked that the substantial mix of content balanced hard-hitting interviews balanced with lighter articles showing all of the different sides of what Hitachi does.
Other custom content included:
- CEO Boardroom interview series: The video interviews featured leading CEOs speaking about their ambitions, investments and actions around the decarbonisation efforts of their business. Leading up to COP26, Hitachi Chief Environment Officer Alistair Dormer discussed the key themes and motivations to reaching the goal of net zero alongside a network of forward-thinking leaders. Hitachi said it was unlike any previous media partnership interview because its hard-hitting tone gave it authority and authenticity.
- Custom articles: Hitachi tapped into Reuters extensive journalism expertise to pique the audience’s interest in climate change. The articles ran during COP26 and included “The Path to Net Zero Transport is Paved with Partnerships” and “Hitachi Focuses on Climate-Change Innovation.”
- Virtual panel discussion: The post-COP26 online panel expanded the discussion on continuing action and commitments after the event. “Beyond COP26: Decarbonizing Mobility Through Zero-Emission Vehicles” looked at the strategies business and governments can take to reduce greenhouse gases produced in the transportation sector and featured Hitachi’s Chief Commercial Officer for Social Innovation Business EMEA.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
Throughout the 12 days of COP26, Reuters journalists delivered fast, fair and accurate reporting including a daily show and live video interviews. Hitachi and its custom content were promoted alongside Reuters COP26 and sustainability content to drive engagement across Reuters platforms. The amplification strategy included:
- The Forum Sponsorship: The Forum is Reuters six-party daily check-in video show on the most important event highlights, sessions and key insights at COP26. Hitachi received logo attribution within the opening graphics of each show and ran pre-roll.
- Editorial Tweets: Reaching over 44M followers, Reuters is among the top three Twitter accounts followed by world leaders. Reuters editorial tweets for commercial content are only offered to select partners and put Hitachi’s content at the heart of the most relevant COP26 news. Reuters promoted the three custom articles and the virtual panel discussion on social media.
- Daily Briefing Newsletter: Reuters flagship newsletter has all the news readers need to start their day. The newsletter linked Hitachi’s messaging to premium editorial content and engaged an audience of Reuters loyal subscribers during COP26 and in the weeks following.
This campaign overdelivered on Hitachi’s main KPIs:
- 27+ M impressions +9% versus planned impressions (~25M): Reuters proprietary media and creative approach allowed for the impressions to be optimised toward Hitachi’s best content as the campaign was in flight.
- 2,4+ M video views +22% versus 2M planned impressions: Amplifying the post-COP26 panel discussion video to a new targeted audience allowed users to consume the content at the most convenient time for them.
- 67k pageviews +12% versus planned: Article pageviews not only overdelivered on the main KPI of pageviews, but also had a dwell time of over 7 minutes on average (~2,5x Reuters benchmark of 2 minutes and 20 seconds).
- 780 clicks +124% versus planned: Aiming at 350 clicks delivered to the Hitachi microsite, the campaign delivered more than double what was expected.
A Reuters Brand Study measured Hitachi’s campaign performance against its wider brand objectives:
- +53% brand familiarity, when we compare people that recalled the campaign and those that did not.
- +38% brand favourability, when we compare people that recalled the campaign and those that did not.
- 4x higher recall on Hitachi being a partner and sponsor of COP26, amongst people that recall the campaign.
- +91% in likelihood to consider purchasing from Hitachi, amongst users that recall the campaign versus non recallers
- +93% in likelihood to recommend Hitachi, amongst users that recall the campaign versus non recallers
Kelly Smith, head of PR and content at Hitachi Europe, said, “This was the only media partnership Hitachi did last year so we wanted to do something that had an impact. We needed to invest in a partner that could provide us with that global reach. Others were more old school and restrictive, but we felt Reuters provided the flexibility that made a difference for us.”