Sports Direct and Joanna Lumley create recycled footage ad to highlight bee plight

The UK's largest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct is teaming up with actress Joanna Lumley for its new carbon neutral TV campaign. The ads, conceptualised by Cult, used only recycled footage in order to draw attention to the plight of the bumblebee.

In order to achieve the carbon-neutral outcome, Cult partnered with Getty Images to ensure that all imagery was created by companies whose ecological credentials were sound. The teams sought to examine "internal and external crew power supply" and compared those who run on green energy versus standard fossil fuels. Any "unavoidable emissions" were offset at the end of the production.

Emma Greenaway, head of European accounts at Cult, said: “We are delighted to have achieved our first fully sustainable shoot with Sports Direct on their Save The Bumblebees mission. This dovetails perfectly in our ambition to ensure all Cult productions moving forward are sustainable and is perfect timing with our B-Corp journey."

Save the Bumblebees marks the first of four upcoming campaigns for Cult with the Fraser Group's pillar brands.

"We are thrilled to be teaming up with Sports Direct on their fantastic #savethebumblebees campaign.” says Gill Perkins, CEO of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

“We all want to be able to enjoy outdoor sports, activities and walks - now and for future generations. Bumblebees do an amazing job pollinating our crops, garden & wildflowers and our goal is to help them survive and thrive. By championing these furry flying ‘ping-pong balls,’ with this campaign, Sports Direct is helping to increase bumblebee-friendly flowers to feed from and create a ‘buzz’ across the UK by raising awareness of the importance of bumblebees. That is a winning team in my playbook."

With more organisations signing up for B Corp status, the need to highlight agency clients' green credentials will become more acute. Beyond the television campaign, every purchase of a Sports Direct mug or bag will see customers also receive free seeded paper which germinates when planted.

The seeded paper includes carefully selected seeds chosen to make "the most attractive plants for British bumblebees" in support of The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.