How the Green Planet AR Experience set a new bar for sustainable production
Factory 42 won at The Drum Awards for Experience, taking home the Grand Prix and the awards for Best Sustainable Event and Brand Experience 2022. Here, we find out more about what went into this project.
Sir David Attenbourgh, pictured during the making of the Green Planet AR experience
The Green Planet AR Experience with Sir David Attenborough created for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) inspired positive planetary change and sets a new bar for sustainable production.
The goal was to tell the incredible stories of plants and animals in an innovative and emotionally engaging way, to create awe and wonder for our natural world, and drive positive action in the public - all while minimizing the carbon footprint of the event.
The Green Planet AR Experience took people all around the world from just one location: 55 Regent Street. A stunning, sustainable set was built in an iconic Grade 1 listed building to represent six natural world biomes - Rainforest, Freshwater, Saltwater, Seasonal, Desert, and the final Human Reveal. Using the magic of 5G-enabled AR, each room was brought to life, enabling visitors to interact with beautifully rendered digital plants and animals.
Led by a remarkable 3D hologram of David Attenborough as their personal guide, audiences were inspired, immersed, and educated about the distinct ecosystems, taking away actionable steps to better protect our planet.
Sustainability was at the heart of the process, both in terms of the creative vision and physical execution. A world-class consortium of partners led by Factory 42 including the BBC Studios, EE, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Dimension Studio, Talesmith, and our venue and promotional partner the Crown Estate, were all driven by two main goals:
- Bring a stunning, world-first experience to the public without detrimental impact on our planet
- Amaze and inspire visitors by enabling them to engage with the stories of plants and animals in previously impossible ways
The results were phenomenal from all angles – commercial, environmental, and audience reactions. 10,000 tickets were snapped up within hours of their release, with the final batch taken in less than 30 minutes and without any above-the-line advertising. The project achieved an incredible audience approval rating of 96%, making it the UK’s number one immersive experience, as surveyed by independent researchers StoryFutures.
The objective of creating actionable change was achieved beyond expectations. 99% of audiences, ranging from seven to over 80 years old, left the experience with a high sustainability awareness. A month after the experience, the percentage of visitors buying environmentally friendly products increased from nearly one-third to 96%, those using energy-efficient systems by one-third to 88%, and those donating money to environmental campaigns more than doubled to 41%.
The event set a new standard for sustainable event production. It achieved all best practice criteria for waste management, with waste making up only 0.1% of the event’s total carbon footprint split. On-site production contributed to just 3.6% of the experience’s carbon footprint.