Litter Hong Kong

A Billboard that Identifies People Who Litter

Do you have an opinion on people who litter?  Almost everyone does. Unfortunately, for those living in crowded urban areas, it’s really just a fact of life. Governments and societies try to crack down on it, but many people just don’t listen.

One anti-litter group decided that enough was enough, and they took a fairly radical step to fight the problem.  But, did they cross any ethical lines themselves?  That’s up to you to decide.

The Faces of Litter

The Problem

Hong Kong is a city full of people.  As a matter of fact, the more than 7 million inhabitants crammed into such a small place ranks it as the fourth most densely populated region on the planet.

That many people always adds up to a logistical nightmare when it comes to waste disposal, but it doesn’t help that littering seems to be the official sport.  Every day, there is more than 16,000 tons of waste dumped in the city, and this has given life to the Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative.  The organization’s name is pretty straightforward about what they do, but you might be surprised to learn that they literally launched an in-your-face campaign to combat the problem.

Litter Hong Kong

Basics of the Campaign

The government has already tried many methods of going after this problem, so the campaign had to find a unique way of getting to people.  There are pretty hefty fines given to anyone caught littering, but that just wasn’t motivational enough.  This led the environmental group to team up with Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong to try and put together something that would really get people listening.  So, the strategy decided on for this campaign was to do a bit of shaming for the litterbugs in society.

They Even Found the Perfect Day to Do It

This whole project was called the Face of Litter Campaign, and they had the perfect day to launch it:  Earth Day.  Leading up to it, teams had worked to collect garbage, and they managed to pick up more than 4,000 tons from the streets.  Then, they gave it to some scientists to work their magic.

What Tech Did They Need to Do It?

Scientists at Parabon NanoLabs used Snapshot™ DNA phenotyping to analyze who had touched the various garbage samples, and this allowed them to make a digital drawing of the litterbug responsible for each individual piece.  They tended to focus on bits of garbage that would have physical bits of people left behind, and some of the favorites were coffee cups, cigarette butts, and condoms.  This technology has the ability to predict eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, shape of the face, and a lot more about people just from a tiny amount of their DNA.  It may sound like something out of science fiction, but that’s the world we live in today.

Do Not Litter Outdoor Media

What Did It Accomplish?

The Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative has some great programs in place to clean up the trash.  Unfortunately, they were really stuck in the pattern of cleaning up after people, and they weren’t having much success in preventing littering in the first place.  That’s where this campaign really helped out – it got people talking.  In only two weeks, it managed to get 3.9 million engagements on social media, and $5 million in earned media coverage.

Advertising vs. Activism

This campaign was very successful by many measurements, but it does raise some ethical questions.  The pictures that were shown were generated drawings of theoretical people, but is it appropriate to publicly shame people?  Even if it works to solve a problem, it can cause harm to people who may or may not deserve it.  We don’t have the answer to this, it’s really up to you and your own personal beliefs.

Science!

A major takeaway from this campaign is how science can be used in advertising.  It’s likely that this whole project would have been far less interesting if they had simply taken photographs of people caught in the act of littering.  It really stands out because of the amazing science that many people didn’t realize was possible, but then it was the perfect chance to convey the message once it had everyone’s attention.

How far will your advertising go?

Have you ever done anything similar to get your message across?  You don’t necessarily have to be so aggressive with your advertising tactics, but this doesn’t change the fact that pulling stunts like this will get you talked about.  So, don’t be afraid to push the limits, but make sure you’re thinking about your image as a whole before you do anything too crazy.

If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, just give us a call.  We’re ready to hear your ideas!

Puerto Rico Business

How to Promote Your Business in Puerto Rico

If you own or run a business in Puerto Rico, there are many different ways that you can promote it and try to gain a larger customer base.  The entire advertising industry has changed a lot because of the advances in technology, but that doesn’t mean the traditional methods are simply things of the past.  In today’s world, you can put signs on the side of the road, print ads in the hands of customers, or blast them with digital pixels on electronic devices.  All of these methods can work to accomplish different goals and reach different people.

Here, we’ll focus on three of the most successful strategies to use in Puerto Rico.  If you use a mixture of these methods in your business, you should see some pretty strong results.

Puerto Rico Business

1.  Billboards

Puerto Rico is densely populated, and everyone here knows that.  With more than 3.5 million individuals living together in 3,515 square miles, the island has more than 1000 people per square mile.  Mixed in with all these potential customers is about 3 million registered vehicles, so that works out to being a lot of people sitting in traffic with eyes ready to see your billboard.  Also, studies have found that more than half of people discuss interesting messages they see on billboards, and a quarter of people go to a store because of what they read.

Many of these people are already in the car and ready to go shopping, and those are pretty good odds for any marketer.

Billboards should be primarily used to target a very general audience.  There’s no way to change the sign for each customer, so a wide message about your brand is the most helpful.  Electronic signs give the possibility for quick successions of ads, but they still get blasted across the population.

Outdoor advertising like this is a great way to remind people that your company still exists.  Overall, they’re a great way to increase brand recognition.  This can really be the difference between consumers choosing your brand from a competitor’s product when they’re sitting next to each other on a shelf.

Social Media Puerto Rico

2. Social Media

There are a ton of social media platforms already, and new ones are being launched every day.  Many of these have possibilities to advertise inside of them, and they can be useful because they’ve already convinced users to give them treasure trove of personal data.  In other words, the networks know what people are interested in, so you can make sure to only pay for showing your product to consumers who are likely to buy it.

But, out of all the choices you have, Facebook is your best bet in Puerto Rico.  The amount of users on the island has been steadily increasing, and it was nearly 90% during 2015.  That means that nearly everyone has an account, and many of them use the social network on a regular basis.

You should plan on using Facebook to advertise when you have some unique and interesting content to draw people in.  There is a lot of clutter, so words alone probably won’t be noticed.  However, if you have a video or an interesting blog post to attract user’s busy eyes, you might just get a click.  If they really like what they see, they’ll share your post.  And a recommendation from a friend is something that money can’t buy!

3. Google Strategy

Don’t forget that the internet is a big place, and social media is only a small part of it.  Getting noticed in the top few results of a Google search for a broad term can be quite tough.  But, you can get pushed even higher on the list with a relatively small investment.  Using Google AdWords, you can pay to have your result pop up (with a notification that it’s a paid ad).

However, you need to make sure that you use some search engine optimization (SEO) strategies before doing this.  This is another chance to really narrow the viewers of your ad to a specific target group, so make sure you learn what people will be searching for before you write your ad – and only include the best terms.  This option should be used when you have a very specific message for a very specific group of people.

Promote Business Puerto Rico

Strategic Combination

You’ll benefit from using one of these methods, but the real power is in using all of them.  However, you don’t need to just start throwing money.  Make sure you have an overall strategy to see how they can all work together, and be careful to let them each take advantage of their specific strengths.  Don’t necessarily split your marketing budget evenly – think of it as one big number that’s going to increase your bottom line!