At the end of October, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched its new global campaign, Fight For Your World. The campaign was led by a visceral advert asking us all to wake up and realise that we are the last hope to save the planet.
I’ve decided against contacting WWF to ask if the campaign has achieved the objectives of increasing donations and support for its causes as it is currently embroiled in a crisis amidst accusations of contributing to human rights abuses.
Setting that aside for the purpose of this review, I don’t think those objectives really matter much because the advert has contributed to something bigger – it has set a new, more urgent tone for sustainability campaigns and has changed the playing field for brands wanting to be seen to be doing their bit for the planet.
The Big Idea
“You see the problem is, we think we have time.
“We are the first generation that knows we are destroying the world and could be the last that can do anything about it.
“This is a choice.
“The food we eat, the things we buy, the way we live…
“We can win the biggest battles in the smallest moments in every second of every day.
“Are you for the world or against it?
“It’s time to decide.”
Set against stark footage, it’s hard not to hear those words and feel like you need to do something.
Beyond the advert, this narrative permeates all of WWF’s communications.
WWF has traditionally offered a stark message about catastrophe, but the difference now is, it isn’t being dramatic.
The world has caught up with its fears.
What They Did
The campaign has become a new positioning and narrative for the entire organisation. Fight For Your World has become a shorthand articulation of its strategy and everything it does and advocates for is framed by the campaign – your reasons to join and donate, the causes it is fighting for, why you should change how you live.
This is campaigning at its best, but it is the power with which it sets out the new narrative in the advert which is the most impressive thing about it.
This campaign launched a few weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report which said we have 12 years to act to stop catastrophic climate change.
In that context, the urgency of WWF’s message sets a new tone for other organisations in sustainability comms. October 2018 was a new line in the sand.
Prior to this point, brands could gain decent reputational value from soft signals on sustainability, trialing edible six-pack rings and the like.
Now, those who act with more urgency will gain the advantage – brands like Orsted or Iberdrola who are transforming their businesses from route to tip behind a powerful vision of sustainability.
Are you for the world, or against it?
Recycle that coffee cup and start cycling to work, or you can explain to my kids why they’ll have to live underwater.