BBC Studios (BBC StoryWorks)
Innocean Worldwide Europe
Journey To Ithaca
Hyundai Motor Europe and Dutch NGO Healthy Seas approached BBC StoryWorks with a vision to promote their partnership and shared values around sustainability and ocean conservation.
Amongst positioning Hyundai as a leader in sustainable production techniques, one of the key objectives was to educate audiences around the facts of ocean plastic pollution. The goal was to shine a new light of hope on an overwhelming situation and provide audiences with a crucial message on the economic benefits of a circular economy for small fishing communities and the fishing industry as a whole.
The backbone of this project tied in perfectly with the BBC’s commitment to sustainable practice both on-screen and off. A primary goal of this project and a mandatory condition for any content production was that it must be carbon neutral across the board. By calculating our predicted carbon footprint from early emails and zoom calls during development right the way through to location filming and postproduction, we created an action plan for all involved to reduce, track, and offset all emissions.
The project was for both public consumption and for a live audience of industry leaders worldwide.
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, fishing industry and automotive industry.
The Content Solution
Given the subject matter and audience goals, the BBC StoryWorks approach focused mainly on the NGO’s work. 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.
As a key campaign message was 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. Plus, by giving their platform over to the voice of a tiny island community and their suffering, the film gave kudos to Hyundai’s commitment to progress.
The main narrative focused on a huge problem affecting the health of our seas and the worlds marine life, Ghost Gear: lost, abandoned, or discarded fishing nets, cages, and traps.
BBC StoryWorks expert team of storytellers set out to produce a film that travels to Ithaca, Greece, to document the clean-up of an abandoned fish farm wreaking havoc on the environment and local fisherman.
By interviewing key players who make it happen mixed with scientific experts, the film is coloured with interesting facts and arresting scenes of devastation and recovery.
Throughout the film, we hear from an array of voices, from UN Presidents to quirky local characters, industry leaders and young environmentalists. In amongst this, we weave in Hyundai’s commitment to social responsibility and close on a high with a global call to arms in the fight for a sustainable future.
The film conveyed the indignity of devastation at the hands of our fellow beings. Stark scenes laced with facts showed the challenges faced in putting things right. Contrasted with the warmth of community spirit, we watched progress take shape.
Along the way, the film highlighted Hyundai’s input and support as we brought the story to a close. The audience was left on a positive note with a message that ‘together, we can turn the tide’. A poignant reminder that this is just the beginning.
The team at BBC StoryWorks took the opportunity to treat this story with the same weight and gravitas as any BBC editorial production on the environmental challenges we all face. Through this approach in giving balance to narrative, facts and outcome, we worked to bolster the campaign with the same level of trust and concern as any other non-commercial story.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
A campaign hub with an article and film about one of the NGO’s projects would live on BBC Future Planet vertical on BBC.com. Future Planet is a section of BBC Future dedicated to stories on the people confronting pressing environmental challenges around the world. It is the home of in-depth, evidence-based reports on potential solutions.
Sectioned audience by interest factors, we created promo units across BBC news channels and social to drive click-through to video content: BBC Future Planet is our dedicated home for the insatiably curious. Insights show that our Future Planet audience wants more than fast-paced soundbites, knee jerk opinions and information overload. They are highly educated and widely informed, and they already know the basics. They want to know details on solutions, how they work, how they are put into practice, what situations reveal about us and how the solutions can impact our every day.
Promotion of the physical clean-up project across socials surrounding World Oceans Day:
We created a dramatic teaser edit for use in the lead up to World Oceans Day. This trailer previewed the clean-up in progress with an element of jeopardy. The idea was to create a platform for which Hyundai to speak on their partnership with Healthy Seas and to maintain engagement across the months either side of World Oceans Day activity.
Channels used: 200
BBC.com, BBC Future Planet, BBC Reel.
Healthy Seas owned online media.
Hyundai Motor Europe social channels and owned online media.
Healthy Seas NGO, as a result were inundated with requests for help from the campaign that, in total had 1,789,094 video views across all platforms. The video lasted around 8 minutes and on average was watched 62.11% through.
Video views 70% above targeted with article views of 65,000.
The campaign also succeeded in putting ocean plastics and its economic value on the agenda in Italy, Spain and France with 222,000 views across those regions.
Other brands promoted their uptake of Econyl yarn into their practices in the following months from October through November from fashion giants LVMH to sustainable interior start-ups.
Key stakeholders such as Healthy Seas, Kefalonia Fisheries (who’s CEO appeared in the film) and UN Young Champion for Earth shared the video and campaign link on BBC with a supported message.
Importantly, the Municipality of Ithaca used the campaign and its association with the BBC to raise funds enabling it to bring legal action against Piraeus Bank who own the bankrupt fish farm and have allowed its dilapidation.
The production was awarded an Albert Certificate of sustainability by BAFTA. Through the teams efforts to predict, track and reduce its carbon footprint, the project minimised 7.2 tonnes of emissions down to 2.6 tonnes, which were offset as part of the campaign budget.
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.