BMW applies sustainability to messaging and media buy

    • BMW Canada and its partners reported promising results for a strategy that paired a sustainability-themed branded video series with a carbon emission reduction and compensation push, according to a press release.
    • The “Forces of Nature” series, released last fall in Canada, featured six innovators using technology for sustainable purposes. Targeting an audience interested in sustainability, smart technology and electric luxury vehicles, it garnered an 82% video completion rate, exceeding performance goals by 26%.
    • The media buy was optimized toward sites with low emissions and those with emissions-reducing direct supply paths with help from Media Experts and Sharethrough. The emissions impact was compensated for at a level equivalent to fully charging 89,000 smartphones.

    BMW Canada’s campaign suggests marketing that builds in sustainability in a variety of ways can meet and even exceed campaign goals. It also points to how sustainability is drawing interest in the luxury market. 

    “We are on a mission to reinvent the business to include sustainability at every step, making it a part of our core strategy. It was imperative for this campaign to further reinforce that commitment,” said Ryan Chu, national manager of brand communications at BMW Canada, in a release.

    Environmental concerns are being addressed in a number of ways throughout the advertising industry, which has a considerable carbon footprint — particularly when it comes to digital advertising. Sharethrough, BMW’s partner on the campaign, is an independent ad exchange that reports more than 7,000 brands have delivered carbon-neutral campaigns using its GreenPMPs solution developed with Scope3, which has built a model to predict carbon emissions throughout the advertising supply chain. 

    Last year, the ad industry came together for Ad Net Zero, a program to curb the environmental impact of advertising. All of the major holding companies, along with a range of tech companies, publishers and trade organizations have signed onto the global initiative, whose goal is to cut the industry’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Former OMD U.S. and BBDO New York CEO John Osborn is leading those efforts.

    IPG Mediabrands, meanwhile, has partnered with Scope3 (which measured the emissions of BMW’s campaign) to help reduce the environmental impact of its clients’ advertising across the globe. Through the partnership, Mediabrands will offer clients emissions measurement, compensation and reduction capabilities. 

    On the client side, Toyota committed to reducing the carbon footprint of its digital ad campaigns by up to 20% through a partnership with Swedish technology firm SeenThis. The offering focuses on paring ad load times, which cuts the amount of data needed to effectively run campaigns.


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