Y&R Paris: Surfrider Foundation

Campaign: Ocean initiative

Client: Surfrider Foundation
WPP company: Y&R, Paris

Every year the Surfrider Foundation mobilises thousands of volunteers in 15 countries to help clean up Europe’s beaches. Held over three days, the clean-up events have an immediate benefit to the environment and raise awareness of the threat of pollution to our coastlines.

Y&R created an ad campaign that used war imagery to emphasise that clean beaches are worth fighting for. Under the strapline ‘Let’s fight pollution’ people are urged to volunteer to join the battle.

The adverts appeared in surf magazines and major national newspapers and magazines. These were supported by radio ads as well as 14,000 posters in shops and public places. After the events, an ad was published showing a newly clean beach to thank the volunteers for their efforts.

The campaign was a success, mobilising 15,000 volunteers, a 50% increase from 2007. It also encouraged people to join the Surfrider Foundation, with membership increasing by 300%. There was an eight-fold increase in visitors to the organisation’s website during the campaign.

Y&R worked pro bono on the campaign and obtained free advertising space worth over €658,000.