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Why musicMagpie erected a monument of e-waste at the G7 summit


By Awards Analyst, writer

June 20, 2022 | 4 min read

Fanclub and musicMagpie won at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022 in the Social Purpose and Retail/E-commerce categories for their ‘Mount Recyclemore’ campaign. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful project...

Comparisons between the UK’s prime minister and a pile of rubbish aren’t new. But a giant sculpture of Boris, alongside his G7 peers, made entirely from rubbish is. As the G7 Summit dawned in Cornwall in June 2021, a giant recreation of Mount Rushmore dubbed ‘Mount Recyclemore‘ was unleashed on the world’s media.

The brief

With climate change high on the agenda in the run up to the G7 summit in the UK, musicMagpie’s objectives were to raise awareness of, and educate people about, the growing and overlooked issue of e-waste, as well as promoting the need for electronics to be recycled, refurbished and resold rather than dumped in landfill and positioning musicMagpie as a champion of consumer tech re-commerce and a leading voice in the battle against e-waste.

The idea

According to the United Nations, 53m tons of e-waste is generated worldwide each year. Set to double by 2050, it’s the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Unless recycled properly, e-waste is a serious threat to the planet and is an issue that needs addressing, but is largely misunderstood.

Pre-campaign research showed low consumer awareness of e-waste, with four in five Brits not knowing what e-waste was and nearly half unaware that it impacted climate change. Fanclub knew education and awareness around e-waste wasn’t enough and needed to be brought to the world’s attention in a way that would cut through.

Alongside artist Joe Rush of the Mutoid Waste Company, Fanclub erected a huge sculpture of the heads of the G7 leaders made from 20,000 discarded electronic goods. Based on Mount Rushmore, ‘Mount Recyclemore‘ was created at scale akin to its inspiration and was purposely situated atop the dunes of Sandy Acres in Cornwall. It was unveiled on the eve of the Summit in time to grab headlines.

Photography, B-roll and A-roll were captured and distributed to enable message control with the media and to fuel social content for owned and earned channels.

Fanclub also partnered with WasteAid, donating £1 for each piece of tech customers traded in with musicMagpie during the month of June to create and fund WasteAid’s first-ever e-waste management education program.

The results

‘Mount Recyclemore‘ was picked up by almost every major news outlet in the UK, US and beyond, with coverage in 74 countries and over 1,500 articles spanning online, print, TV, radio and podcasts. It also trended on Twitter alongside #G7Cornwall, with posts from major global news outlets as well as Greenpeace and politician Jeremy Corbyn.

Post-campaign research showed that the stunt could be recalled by 20% of all UK adults aged over 18, while 28% of Brits knew what e-waste is compared with 21% in May 2021. And despite only being in situ for four days, ‘Mount Recyclemore‘ gained an organic listing as a ‘cultural landmark’ on Google and its own Google Quick answers.

The campaign also saw BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and the Independent’s Climate Newsletter using ‘Mount Recyclemore‘ as a focal point, while Jeremy Corbyn used it in the opening address of his speech to the Cambridge Union.

38% of all trade-ins through musicMagpie in the month of June were first-time users of the company and generated £30,000 for Wasteaid, which has been used to create their first e-waste education program.

Following its success, ‘Mount Recyclemore‘ has now been re-erected at the Eden Project where an estimated 1 million people a year will be educated on the need to recycle e-waste.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here.

And check out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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