A staggering 16,000 tons of waste is dumped in Hong Kong each day. Despite heavy penalties, littering remains a citywide problem. One of the biggest problems in this incredibly law abiding society, is that litter is a faceless crime – if you don’t catch someone red-handed, they go unpunished.
The challenge was in a city as crowded, busy and frenetic as Hong Kong, how do you break through and call this problem to the centre of people’s attention.
Partnering with local initiative Hong Kong CleanUp, on Global Earth Day, with the objective of creating social change to raise awareness about the extent of littering, pinpointing that each of us is responsible to some extent. Giving people a real reason to stop littering, beyond mere social consciousness. Through the campaign, we reminded people that littering is a real crime.
In advance of Earth Day 2015, litter samples were collected from high traffic areas. Samples were sent to Parabon Nanolabs, where DNA was extracted and analysed using SnapShotDNA Phenotyping technology – creating an exacting genetic profile.
Using technology, which traditionally was reserved for high profile crimes, as part of a public service announcement, we placed real importance and focus on the crime of littering.
Launching on Earth Day 2015, facial composites appeared as posters and digital screens throughout the city, and most importantly back at the scene of the crime. We identified key MTR stations around Hong Kong to communicate the message, with the millions of commuters travelling through these stations daily, it was the ideal location to target Hong Kongers.
Social media supported the campaign with paid posts and an educational video – creating the ultimate name and shame campaign. Social media was identified as a platform to learn more about the 2015 Initiative, share the video and click through to the Hong Kong CleanUp website, where Hong Kongers could register themselves or teams for the Clean Up days.
During the 14-day campaign period, the campaign reach over 3.9million people across Social Media, and had a PR advertising value of HK$5million from global media exposure.
The 2015 Challenge has been the most successful to date with a record 75,623 participants, which is 1% of the population - who cleaned up an estimated 5,6million pieces of trash, weighing a total of 4.6million kg’s from 2,447km’s of Hong Kong’s coastlines, country parks and urban environments. This participation far exceeds the 50,000 participant goals for 2015.