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Ad of the Day: hard-hitting Olio ad highlights grim reality of household waste

Food-sharing app Olio has launched a hard-hitting campaign bringing awareness to the massive issue of household waste in the UK. The emotive spot was created by Hell Yeah, an agency that prides itself on working with brands that want a positive future.

A vast, dirty and overcrowded rubbish dump provides an eye-opening backdrop to the ad, with a group of children in the forefront solemnly singing Louis Armstrong’s 1967 single ‘What A Wonderful World.’

As it progresses viewers see discarded toys, bags and TVs on a landfill site in Wales, shortly before the camera eventually pans out to reveal the enormity of the issue in just one single landfill.

‘Let’s not waste our wonderful world’ is the final message hitting home the impact and enormity of this problem.

“We wanted to reach everyone, but particularly parents, with the message that there is something simple they can do to make a difference and protect their children’s future,” said Tessa Clarke, co-founder and chief executive officer at Olio.

“We urgently need to start a discussion about waste in our homes, and show people that while things are bad, there is hope – they can take real action right now by sharing more and wasting less.”

Founded in 2015, Olio is a free app that aims to fight waste, bring communities together and make tangible efforts to help the planet.

“Olio now has more than 5 million members, sharing items in 59 countries. The environmental impact of their sharing has been equivalent to taking 100m car miles off the road and has saved 4.8bn liters of water,” noted Clarke.

Out-of-home (OOH) ads will run across London until January, making use of the striking imagery from the shoot, layered with thought-provoking quotes from the kids in the ad, which was taken by acclaimed photographer Rachel Brown.

An additional TV ad will be featured on Sky, Channel 4 and ITV channels, benefiting from a £250,000 additional media spend as one of the inaugural winners of the Sky Zero Footprint Fund. Media is being handled by Squadron Venture Media.

“This isn’t a dystopian vision of the future, but a very grim and current reality – and it’s today’s children who’ll end up paying the price for our behavior,” added Fiona White, creative director at Hell Yeah.

“At the same time there is genuine optimism, it’s not too late to turn the tide. Creatively we kept things simple – innocent children singing one of the world’s most beloved songs on an actual landfill delivered our message with an emotional punch.”

In the UK alone, households throw away a staggering 30m tonnes of waste each year, and it is estimated that 80% of the contents of our bins could have been reused, recycled or composted. This environmental message comes as the UN’s Climate Change Conference 2020 is under way in Glasgow, Scotland. You can keep up with our coverage of the event here.

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