Innisfree is a chain of ‘natural’ skincare and cosmetic retail chains in Korea. Facing increased competition and lack of differentiation in the ‘naturals’ segment, Innisfree wanted to improve its eco-friendly credentials and stand out from the pack and become one of the most preferred brands. Part of the problem was that everyone was making eco-friendly claims without supporting it with real action, or real assistance to inspire and help Koreans be more environmentally responsible. The brand had to come up with a campaign that demonstrated that Innisfree really does act on its environmental beliefs, and can help its customers act, with simple and practical ways to be more eco-friendly
Based on the knowledge that using a handkerchief instead of disposable paper towels and tissues would save tonnes of wasted paper and ultimately save thousands of trees, the agency developed an idea platform called ‘Take out your handkerchief for the earth’. It was a simple idea to encourage our young female customers to use handkerchiefs instead of paper for their daily wiping and cleaning tasks. It commissioned celebrities and designers to design limited edition handkerchief designs, and made them available for free in stores, along with tips and advice on how to use them to save paper and be kinder on the earth. It promoted the idea through exhibitions, as well as a successful K-pop song and music video by special K-pop star Yoonah of Girls’ generation. And it amplified the cause with several editorial, advertorial and magazine advertising in leading beauty and lifestyle magazines.
Overall 700,000 handkerchiefs were taken, which is the equivalent to saving 16,000 30-year old trees – a genuine difference to the environment, from such a simple switch of behaviour. The eco-handkerchiefs increased footfall to the stores and leading to a significant increase in sales. More importantly for the brand, the eco-handkerchief campaign ignited very positive reputation for Innisfree.
The challenge was to raise awareness of the fact that the use of disposable chopsticks results in the destruction of large numbers of trees. Disposable chopsticks are very convenient to use and low-cost. They are the most commonly used utensils by restaurants in China. Every year Chinese consumers use 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks, which amounts to around 25 million trees, accounting for 200 square meters of demolished forest area. If this rate continues, forests will disappear from China in just 20 years. However, most people are unaware of this fact.
The idea was to recycle over 30,000 used pairs of disposable chopsticks from restaurants all over Shanghai. They were turned into a broken chopstick tree structure. The installation was then displayed in several busy city districts popular with restaurant diners. Through the visual impact of the fallen chopstick trees, it raised awareness of the fact that the use of disposable chopsticks results in the destruction of large numbers of trees.
The campaign received coverage from 110 local and international media outlets. During the campaign period, there were over 3,000,000 hits when you ran a search for ‘chopstick tree’ in Google. Afterwards the chopstick tree was invited for long term exhibition in the national art museum.
The aim was to save trees. How? Target those who use a lot of paper and ones we can identify and influence, and use the database of telecom, banking and other companies that send millions of bills and letters every month. The aim was to appeal to the CEOs and CMOs through a simple and direct message.
The idea: The iFold envelope - the world’s simplest and cheapest paper saving idea. iFold encourages corporates, who post millions of physical bills and letters every month, to fold them once. One fold means you only need envelopes that are half of what they used to be. Save half the trees that go into making envelopes. The envelope created intrigue and the message was simple. Fold the millions of bills and letters to customers once, change to a smaller iFold envelope and save thousands of trees. To make switching to this envelope really easy, it created iFold templates that could be downloaded at www.ifold.in.
The results show that seven corporates have signed up to the programme. One has made a start. Just the start alone saves 9,600 trees a year.