BBC Studios (BBC StoryWorks)
Havas Media Germany, Innocean Worldwide
Journey To Ithaca
Our oceans make up 70% of the planet. Many of us think we live on Planet Earth, but in fact, we live on Planet Ocean. The world’s oceans play a major role in sustaining life on Earth, but they are constantly threatened.
In the last few decades alone, humans have been squeezing the oceans to its limits. A huge problem affecting the health of our seas and the world’s marine life is Ghost Gear: lost, abandoned, or discarded fishing nets, cages and traps. Made from durable nylon it can take decades to breakdown and can travel vast distances using ocean currents. All the while it continues to do what it has been designed for – which is to catch and kill marine life.
Hyundai is a proud partner of Healthy Seas, an NGO based in the Netherlands which focusses on cleaning up this abandoned ghost gear from the world’s oceans. With Hyundai’s commitment to developing emission-free mobility solutions, and Healthy Seas’ expertise in protecting marine ecosystems, they share a vision for making the world a better place for future generations.
Hyundai, via Havas Media Germany and Innocean Worldwide Europe, approached the BBC with a three-fold brief; to promote their sponsorship of Healthy Seas, to showcase the work of the NGO and to showcase their repurposing of plastic waste in their new Ioniq5 EV.
- Brand: position Hyundai as a progressive industry leader in sustainable practices.
- Product: feature Hyundai’s new EV range, Ioniq5, as a sustainable choice.
- Statement: Hyundai is committed to driving change at an industrial level to create circular economies.
- Impact: drive awareness amongst the general public and automotive industry.
Promotion across the month of August 2021:
Target audience: central Europe
Campaign hub impressions: 40k
Video Views: 1M
The Content Solution
With a hundred-year-old pedigree in storytelling, relevant site sections such as Future Planet, and a vast global audience who have a keen interest in oceans and sustainability content, the BBC was the perfect partner to amplify Hyundai’s message.
Working closely with Havas and Innocean Worldwide Europe, and to align Hyundai’s brand with the BBC’s award-winning feature and video content, we formulated a strategy to promote the partnership between Hyundai, Healthy Seas and their shared vision around ocean conservation.
There was an opportunity to feature a story of redemption – from environmental disaster to actionable solutions and visible progress – with the main narrative focused on how the island community of Ithaca was left to face a decade long battle and an environmental catastrophe after a local fish farming business collapsed and abandoned the site.
Given the subject matter, the BBC’s approach focused mainly on the work of the NGO and the wider environmental issues of industrial fishing waste. BBC StoryWorks, our in-house content studio, produced a short documentary film entitled Journey to Ithaca which documented the Healthy Seas fish-farm clean up. It linked the common environmental goals with Hyundai’s commitment to developing a circular economy. This way, we could create an emotive, passionate campaign within that informative, elegant and entertaining BBC style.
In the film the narrator takes us on a journey of humanity – our impact, our inaction, and our resolve to make amends with the planet. We hear from experts, local characters, and volunteers’ part of the Healthy Seas fish-farm clean up, while also highlighting Hyundai’s input, support, and commitment to social responsibility, emphasizing their ultimate goal to use Econyl Nylon in all of its automotive products, starting with the new Ioniq5 EV. The film closes on a high with a global call to arms in the fight for a more sustainable future.
The film is available to watch on vimeo:
As sustainability was the core part of the messaging, the BBC produced the film for Albert Certification (i.e. a carbon neutral sustainable production certification). Extensive efforts were made during the production of the film to reduce the initial carbon emissions from 5.28 Tonnes to 2.72 Tonnes, which was offset as part of the production budget, ensuring the BBC played our part in reducing our impact on the planet.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
Our media content and amplification solution was multi-faceted, consisting of the branded content video, the BBC Storyworks hub, social media and traffic driver promotion, editorial sponsorship, and digital display advertising.
The branded content short documentary film was housed on a specially designed hub featuring articles on sustainability and the Ithaca project, all created by the BBC’s in-house creative studio, BBC StoryWorks. To drive a relevant and engaged audience to the hub, we promoted the film via aesthecially beautiful traffic drivers and promo modules across BBC.com. In addition, trailer edits of the film ran on BBC Reel, the home of the BBC’s short-form video content. This was all supplemented with a social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to draw in a wider audience.
Hyundai sponsored the BBC’s award-winning sustainable feature site- Future Planet for the entire month of August 2021. Future Planet takes a solutions-focused approach to sustainability, climate change and the environment. This approach mirrors Hyundai’s messaging and enabled their branding to be positioned in a contextually relevant environment with strong reader engagement on sustainability.
The sponsorship included accreditation across all of the below:
• Hyundai sponsorship logo
• 100% SOV sponsorship ad units around the site
• 100% SOV pre-roll across all video content
• Editorial cross-content promotional units
To complement and enhance the Future Planet sponsorship, we ran a precision digital display campaign – static and video formats – with a mixture of contextual targeting on relevant BBC site sections such as BBC Reel, BBC Future, BBC News and BBC Worklife and audience targeting leveraging our first party data with relevant demographic and lifestyle segments. We also utilised the BBC’s Youtube channel, running pre-roll across all relevant content to ensure we reached an engaging audience.
The campaign was a great success. In total the hub received 65,000 page views and the documentary was viewed 1.8 million times, with a dwell time of 3.9 minutes showing how highly engaged our audience was.
A major challenge for Hyundai was to increase recommendations, considerations and ultimately drive sales, whilst communicating an authentic message on sustainability.
To measure the effectiveness of this campaign, we ran market research via Adscore (an online study conducted by BDRC Continental). In the results, Hyundai showed uplifts across all key brand metrics, including a 33% increase in consideration and a 67% increase in recommendations.
The campaign increased awareness of Hyundai with an uplift of 2% in overall brand familiarity; 71% of exposed respondents agreed the BBC was the right place to advertise; and positivity towards Hyundai experienced an uplift of 37% amongst BBC consumers.
The Future Planet sponsorship delivered 1.5m impressions – 65% over-delivery against our original forecast. In total, the digital campaign delivered 6.85 million impressions.
The content performed strongly on social media, with the documentary garnering 600k video completes on Facebook across Europe.
The campaign received excellent PR and was featured in an interview with Hyundai Europe’s CEO on BBC Global News, in Meedia magazine, on Marketing Week.com, on Media Brief.com and in specific auto-industry magazines across Europe.
What was achieved in the waters of Ithaca was truly extraordinary. The clean-up wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Hyundai. The efforts had an immediate and measurable effect on the local community and marine ecosystem.
With sustainable programme-making at our core, the BBC was proud to be the media partner chosen to tell this incredible story. We were pleased to produce content worthy of the project and delighted that it resonated strongly with audiences whilst also exceeding Hyundai’s campaign objectives.