14. Dec 2017
An area of accumulative plastic trash the size of France is polluting the Pacific Ocean. In some places, it is so dense that it’s begun creating landmasses. The situation has reached such epidemic proportions that it is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
Against this backdrop, LADbible Group and creative agency AMV BBDO launched The Trash Isles, a major social responsibility campaign to empower young people to lobby the United Nations to acknowledge the plastic in our oceans as a country, in order to force the issue to be addressed.
The Trash Isles launched with everything an official country needs – an official flag, currency called Debris, and passports created from recycled materials.
This coincided with an immersive article which described the the plastic problem in more detail and how the Trash Isles campaign was aiming to raise awareness of it.
It became a big political story in the US, when Former Vice President Al Gore became the Trash Isles’ first honorary citizen. But that was just the start! Alongside a whole host of major stars, Dame Judi Dench agreed to be the queen of the Trash Isles, whilst John Cena offered to be the minister of defence.
Within the first 60 days this 360 content driven campaign reached an incredible 250m+ people across LADbible’s social channels and websites, plus globally from earned print, digital and broadcast media.
100K people signed up to become citizens within the first week and it is already the 26th smallest country in the world by population.
But it didn’t stop there. With momentum building, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for The United Nations Secretary-General praised the campaign as “a very innovative and creative way to bring attention to a problem that is often not seen given the location of these piles of trash, but a problem of polluting the oceans and killing life in the oceans.”
The campaign, which has the backing of leading scientists at the Plastic Oceans Foundation has been a runaway success in raising awareness of the issues of plastic epidemic in our oceans.
The next phase of the Trash Isles campaign will continue to turn apathy into action by encouraging LADbible’s global audience of 1 billion+ to make real life changes to tackle the world’s over reliance on single use plastics.
LADbible Group is the world’s leading social publisher aimed at the youth demographic. Our content is often fun, sometimes informative and always relatable to our audience.
Founded only 5 short years ago, we have 62+ million followers on social, 45m unique viewers on our website and a monthly global reach of 1+ billion. In the UK alone, more than one in two 18 to 30 year olds follow us on social.
At LADbible Group, we are conscious of our enormous influence we have with this young and often hard to reach audience. Whilst we embrace the reputation as a media brand that celebrates fun, news and entertainment and champions everyday heroes, we are also serious about important matters.
We’ve adopted a mantra of ‘with social power comes social responsibility’ and increasingly used our influence to deliver innovative content and drive social change.
By creating ‘movements’ we’re empowering our audiences to discuss and act on issues that matter most to them, such as mental health, politics and the environment.
Plastic pollution in our oceans is one of the biggest environmental issues of our times. But too often it is out of sight and out of mind.
To raise awareness and drive real action, a distinctly new type of campaign was required.
The Trash Isles is a major social responsibility campaign empowering young people to lobby the United Nations to acknowledge the plastic polluting our oceans as a country, in order to force the issue to be addressed.
The brainchild of leading social publishers LADbible, the Trash Isles is unapologetically attention grabbing, social, visual and accessible, using the concept of a nation state – with it’s own flag, passport, bank notes and famous citizens – to start a meaningful conversation about the plastic pollution epidemic in our oceans.
By becoming a country and a member of the UN, the Trash Isles would be protected by the UN’s Environmental Charters, which state….“All members shall co-operate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem”
Which in a nutshell means that by becoming a country, other countries are obliged to clean us up.
The campaign also drove real-world solutions to the plastic pollution issue by partnering with CanO Water – a company creating fully recyclable cans of water as an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles. We created limited edition Trash Isles cans which debuted at Advertising Week Europe 2018, making the festival single-use plastic free.
LADbible is the voice of the social generation and leveraged it’s 62m+ social media followers to achieve maximum reach and engagement, delivering a 360-content campaign with exclusively commissioned, original video content, news articles, offsite posters and events to reach a global audience of 250m+.
– ‘What a creative way to spread awareness’ – Adrian Lee
– ‘There is no harm signing this and spread out awareness about our environment. Thank you LAdbible for doing this.’ – Nguyēn Trung Nhâ
– ‘It’s an inventive, slightly crazy idea that just might appeal to people’. – Sarah Ann Bronkhorst
– ‘This is a brilliant way for us to have collective action on the process of cleaning up our oceans and banning plastics’ – Julian Matthews
– ‘I think this is the first honorary citizenship I’ve had from any emerging nation. I will make reference to the Trash Isles from here on out…Fifty billion tonnes of [plastic] in 60-70 years is completely outrageous.’ – Al Gore
– ‘Congratulations on what you’re doing and thank you for doing it. Consider me a partner.’ – Jeff Goldblum
– ‘It’s a great place to be a citizen of’ – Jack Whitehall
– ‘There has been a push to make the UN understand that if [The Trash Isles] had it’s rights as a country it might cause something to be done about it…the awareness is there now.’ – Andy Serkis
– Trash Isles officially launched with a video by BAFTA award winning journalist Ross Kemp explaining the campaign that has reached over 11m.
– The campaign has reached an incredible 340m+ people across LADbible’s social channels and websites, plus globally from earned print, digital and broadcast media.
– Former US Vice President Al Gore became the Trash Isles’ first honorary citizen. But that was just the start! Alongside a whole host of major stars, Dame Judi Dench agreed to be the queen of the Trash Isles, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson offered to be the minister of defence.
– 215K citizens have signed up via change.org to become citizens, pledging to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic and spread awareness of the plastic pollution epidemic to as many people as they can. Trash Isles is already the 26th smallest country in the world by population.
– With momentum building Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for The United Nations Secretary-General praised the campaign as “a very innovative and creative way to bring attention to a problem that is often not seen giving the location of these piles of trash, but a problem of polluting the oceans and killing life in the oceans.”
– So far over 10 videos have been published across LADbible’s social media channels. These videos have been viewed by 37.3 million people.
-12 editorial articles ran on ladbible.com with news on plastic pollution, personal stories and statistics to highlight how wide scale the issue is achieving a reach of 18 million and 136k engagements.