Sustainability is on everyone’s mind and businesses are looking for creative ways to showcase their green initiatives. In this week’s egtabite we spotlight a creative partnership developed by Var (the sales house of the Flemish public broadcaster) with bpost (the Belgian national postal service) that engaged listeners and had sustainability right at its heart.
In 2021, Sander Gillis and Laura Govaerts, two MNM radio DJs, put their survival skills to the test by living one whole week in a forest, with the support from radio listeners. For every hour they endured in the forest, they were given 25 trees to plant and, through this initiative, they were able to plant 2500 trees, creating an entirely new forest called 'Het Zonnebos'.
In 2022, bpost wanted to promote their parcel lockers - a more sustainable way of sending and delivering packages – and found the perfect match with Expedition Gillis & Govaerts and Var, who developed a bespoke sponsorship package. Together with MNM radio station and bpost, Var came up with a creative solution to integrate the client into this special radio event.
In mid-April, the DJ duo set themselves the challenge of once again surviving for a week in the forest without any supplies. If they lasted a whole week, they would earn 5000 trees for the new forest - the longer they lasted, the more trees would be planted.
Listeners could help them achieve this goal by sending them essential supplies, such as tents, blankets and food, by using bpost’s parcel lockers placed directly in the campsite. The two DJs had to complete daily challenges - climbing trees, collecting leaves, etc. - and as a reward they could open a parcel locker and receive their much-needed supplies. This put bpost and their parcel lockers in the spotlight on a daily basis.
Gillis & Govaerts were also broadcasting live from the forest several times a day and had to generate all of the electricity themselves by pedalling on generator bikes. If they stopped pedaling, the power would cut and the broadcast would go quiet. Throughout the week, they hosted popular artists for intimate live performances, storytelling by the campfire and special interviews with a forest ranger and other guests. Cameras were placed around the campsite so listeners could follow the action and interact via the MNM app.
“Just like MNM, bpost is also strongly committed to sustainability,” said Dominique Yates, senior Marketing Manager at bpost. “We have already launched several Eco Zones: zones where we create a dense network of Collection Points and Parcel Lockers and where we deliver all parcels 100% emission-free. Our ambition is to deliver completely CO2-free by 2030. In addition, we are committed to 'convenience ': the convenience of picking up parcels nearby, at a time that suits you. Because we share the same objectives and because we wanted to put our parcel lockers in the spotlight, we were happy to support the initiative of MNM.”
The promotion of the campaign ran for a week before the event itself went live on MNM and via their app. It was supported on TV and benefited from extensive visibility on the station's website and social media.
The campaign budget was a combination of the price for the 5” audioboards, spread throughout the promotional campaign, and the week-long sponsorship campaign itself. Other parts of the budget covered the production and social media costs.
The campaign was a great success - the hosts managed to survive the whole week thanks to the huge support from listeners and reached the goal of 5000 new trees planted.