Electric Earth – Case Study 2020

Shortlisted 2020

Automotive

Brand

Audi

Entered by:

National Geographic Partners

Credits:

PHD Global

Electric Earth

The Challenge

With customers more aware now than ever of the environmental impact of vehicles powered by fossil fuels and making their purchase decisions accordingly, the automotive industry is at a turning point in terms of developing cleaner ways of driving. Audi needed to position itself as the industry thought leader in what shape the future of cleaner car ownership will likely take, in tandem with the launch of their first fully electric car, the Audi e-tron.

On the back of their 2019 Superbowl ad, introducing the e-tron, and their pledge to have 1/3 of their entire offering be fully electric by 2025, Audi were looking for an authentic storytelling partner that could lend authority to their mission through a powerful, sustainability-focused campaign.

Objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the e-tron globally, and across 5 markets in particular: Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Norway
  • Shift perceptions of Audi as simply a ‘luxury car brand ‘ to an industry leader in sustainable thinking – from vehicle ownership models, to connectivity, to the future of mobility in society, especially within increasingly tight urban areas
  • Promote the message that Audi are continually working on solving the sustainability problem in The e-tron isn’t necessarily the answer, but serves as a valuable step toward a cleaner future that Audi wants to help facilitate with the help of others
  • Achieve all of the above subtly, weaving Audi’s brand messaging appropriately through environmental journalism created to raise awareness of electrically-driven technologies that are helping innovators to solve global issues

The Creative Solution

To catch the attention of environmentally conscious consumers, the ‘Electric Earth’ campaign told the stories of how, like Audi and the automotive industry, ‘going electric’ is solving a range of humanitarian and environmental issues beyond vehicles. Short, 3-5-minute episodes followed a National Geographic Explorer, Dr Leslie Dewan, across the world as she met and discussed with various innovators who devised electrical solutions to issues close to their hearts. Following the conversations in an intimate, documentary style, this content served two purposes – shedding light on what it means to be powered by green electricity, and encourage audiences not to take sustainable practices at face value, instead interrogate them and drive the demand for end-to-end sustainability in everything.

Each episode focused on how individual countries are using sustainably sourced electricity to help solve global issues. The narrative followed three individual stories while naturalistic product placement saw Dr Dewan travel between locations in the e-tron as she surmised her findings and drew links between Audi’s brand messaging and the subject of the episode. A contributor in Belgium, for example, was looking at sustainable batteries for storing renewable electricity more cleanly as a means of lessening our dependency on Lithium batteries in the future.

Episodic content was supported by written articles, explanatory photo galleries and lnstagram stories; each unpacking more behind one of the featured stories, allowing audiences to delve further into these topics. By the end, audiences were enlightened to the fact that, like the electric car, these technologies may not immediately reverse any environmental impacts human have on the world, but it’s an incremental journey to success. And Audi are a forward-think brand that’s working to develop solutions like these further.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Audi requested an all-digital campaign that was driven by social amplification. They wanted to be able to release content over the year that would drive a sustained interest in the brand, hence the episodic approach . Hero videos were released every two months with their supporting articles and galleries, with IG stories, Facebook posts and banners continually driving eyes to content.

Globally, the National Geographic audience is highly educated and tend to have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world. Audi wanted to target customers who care about brands that work to preserve the planet and who are thinking about the future in a sustainable way. This campaign, and its delivery, was designed to reach this audience-who are ‘on-the-go’, consume their information through digital and social media-and align with their interests, to see Audi as a responsible brand.

Media assets

  • 1 x content hub
  • Digital articles
  • 5 x galleries of images
  • Hero videos with bespoke edits
  • Co Branded banners
  • IG stories
  • Social amplification

The Result

The Electric Earth campaign went live on the 11th June with Display and Paid social. The final episode was launched 15th November across Display, followed by Paid social on 22nd November. The final lnstagram Story launched on 2nd December . The main KPl ‘s were impressions, video views, page views, click through rates and content completion rates against National Geographic averages.

Display-
– In total we have delivered 24.SM impressions across Display, over-delivering on estimates by 38%. The overall avg CTR was 0.6%, much higher than NG avg of 0.32% for ROS display.

Paid social –
– Overall we have delivered 27.4M impressions with an overall ENG rate of 3.10%.

Organic Social – lnstagram Story
– The final story was launched 2nd December, generating 7.SM imps.
– The last story had the best overall completion rate of the whole campaign at 96%, higher than natego’s avg 19%. The retention rate was also good at 59%, implying that users may have found this story particularly engaging.

Content –
– In total we received 832,953 page views throughout the campaign.
– For episode 5, another 3 pieces were launched on the Electric Earth hub . In terms of avg dwell time, the video article performed best with 3m18s.
– In terms of video completion, both content pieces with video are on par with the other content launched across the campaign and have received between 25%-30% VCR. Video paired with its article (in one page) for this episode had a higher completion rate at 31% than just the video page

Total impressions for this campaign were 105,587,603, with 1,480,512 total video views, and 832,953 page views.