Case study on Plastic Ocean International
Plastic Ocean International is creating a deep impact on the governments, world leaders, and all the people in the world regarding the problems of plastic pollution in Pacific Ocean. Though the millennials have shown concern about climatic issues, they believe that their concerns are not heard while making important decisions by the government.
For this purpose Plastic Ocean International has started the concept of Trash Isles to bring attention to the perennial problems of plastic pollution. Naumovska and Blazeska (2016) stated that marketing communication plan helps in gaining attention of the target audience by following proper marketing strategies.
The objective of this campaign is to create awareness concerning long pile of trash in Pacific Ocean which has taken the length of a country like France. It has brought the concept of country to this trash by naming it Trash of Isles to be included in the map as 196th nation.
The campaign has been handed over to the UN in World Oceans Day for gaining international recognition. Through this campaign, it has communicated ill-effects of plastic pollution and the ways all the people can take initiative for preventing further spread of this menace.
The strategy is to grab attention of the governments, young generations, ordinary people, world leaders and influential people regarding adverse effects of plastic pollution in oceans. It is not only going to harm aquatic life but also cause damage to food of humans.
According to Batra and Keller (2016), for a plan to be successful, it is required to have an action plan for connecting with the media and others. The target audience for this campaign is all the people, governments, world leaders, and millennials through its three objectives of Inspire, Incite and Inform.
This Trash Isles has all the features of a country and the people are encouraged to gain its citizenship and spread objectives of the campaign globally. For gaining global attention, various marketing communication tools have been used like the website of LadBible, posters, social media, editorials and articles.
For instance, the article has been launched by Trash Isles for creating awareness regarding problem of plastic pollution, its effects on wildlife and an introduction of the campaign. The assets of the country like the designed stamps are sent to the journalists for driving its PR relations. This shows that the campaign has used modern media effectively for reaching to a large audience.
Based on the ideas of Bentley et al. (2016), the integration of mass audience along with the influential persons shows that a campaign can grab attention when it makes the necessary strategies of communicating with its target audience. For instance, its article on Trash Isles has helped in giving a broader view of this campaign and the things that it expects from its citizens.
The campaign has not been dependent on any marketing experts or PR officers rather it has just propagated its objectives through its website. The Group have also used its Trash Isles Hub for hosting all its communications which is then distributed among various platforms and channels of the Group.
The campaign approach of Trash Isles has been segregated in various phases like launching the campaign, bring the campaign to notice bi-weekly, and bringing editorial and news style videos weekly. The initial years of the campaign have been difficult as it has not been sure of its success and whether it would appeal the masses.
Its resources have been few and the group has known it earlier that mere giving it recognition of a nation may not help it to get success. Moreover, other campaigns have been there so the people may not notice or pay attention to this campaign. Based on these ideas, the group have not only added the features of nation but also influenced the people to accept its citizenship.
It has not put any obligation of its participants to sign nay petition for making constructive changes. This is the most appealing factor of this campaign that has generated praise from all over the world.
The campaign has been a huge success as this strategy has helped in reaching over half a billion people that has exceeded its target. The campaign has been a huge risk as it is totally a new concept in which a pile of trash is considered as a country. Porcu et al. (2017) stated that for gaining popularity, the brand is required to devise a new concept which can attract minds of its target customers.
Initially, the organization has felt that the campaign may not generate attention as required. However, in the next three months, it has been a huge success, generating over 240,000 people as its citizens. Its increased inclusion in the number of citizens has made it to be larger than twenty other countries.
Its aspect of Inspire, Incite and Inform has helped it to make a global impact concerning adverse effects of plastic pollution. It has been able to make this Trash of Isles a piece of conversation capturing a total value of 1.5 million pounds.
It has also reached to top of the political agenda, grabbing attention from the leading countries for making its stamps, and building things from its recycled materials. It has also featured in the children’s book for making a deep impact regarding adverse effects of plastic pollution and devising ways environment can be protected from this menace.
Du and Sen (2016) stated that the creative aspects of a brand depend on its strategies of communicating its objectives to its target customers and generating responses from them. The innovative aspects of the campaign like giving it a concept of a country and adding all the features have helped it to create a stir all across the world.
Its creative aspects have helped it to be featured in the leading dailies and international channels. This shows that the creative and innovative aspects of a campaign can help in bringing positive response despite having low resources and budget. It is these creative aspects of this campaign that has made it stand apart from rest of the other campaigns.
The degree of integration in the campaign is very large as it has been able to integrate all governments, citizens, media journalists, influential people and millennials in promoting these objectives across the nations.
The integration of all the characteristics of a state in this Trash of Isles has influenced the leaders and the governments to take a note of effects of plastic pollution in their environment.
In this context, 4 stage model of integration helps in analysing the strategies through which the campaign has garnered positive responses. Popescu (2016) stated that the 4stage integration model states redefinition the communication plan, execution of the information technology along with strategic and financial integration are required for reaching the target audience.
In this context, the strategic integration is related to the efforts of the organization in giving a new concept to this campaign. Since they want to reach to their target audience in low costs, the innovative aspects of this campaign has been it its inclusion of features of a country.
It has a defined border, proper communication management system, citizenship rules and a government. It has also created flag, currency, stamps and passports from the plastics to create awareness of recycling, reducing and reusing concepts.
The communication has been redefined by making its participants signing the petition for gaining citizenship rather than pledging for changes. It has attracted influential people as its citizens who have propagated its objectives. Its editorial gives an insight into the different causes of plastic pollution while building the stories that can influence actions.
The use of IT has been evident in this campaign with its collaboration with the website and change.org. Dočekalová and Hornungová (2017) viewed that advanced technologies have helped organisations to promote their products through social media which is also cost-effective.
In this context, the organisation has utilised social media by putting videos while its celebrity ambassadors have continued its initiative of bringing more citizens and explaining the reasons of early actions.
Editorial based videos have also helped in informing its viewers relating to the causes, potential solutions and consequences of plastic pollution in the oceans. Going by its popularity among the audience, this novel idea can also be integrated in creating awareness regarding harmful emissions from vehicles and industries that are the causes of global warming.
Going by the budget of Plastic Ocean International, it has utilises its website to inform the increased environmental costs due to plastic pollution in low costs. This has helped the campaign to get exposure in the leading news channels and international dailies.
It can be concluded that the communication practices adopted by the organisation have helped in generating responses for over a billion people. It has attracted citizenship of a huge number of people which is more than other larger countries.
Above all, it has ensured participation of all people in influencing global leaders and governments to take stringent actions against this menace of plastic pollution. The media personalities and journalists have also helped this campaign to attract attention from all corners of the world.
Figure 1: Can model
(Source: Zhu and Kindarto, 2016)
The creative aspects of this campaign have been great as evident from the praises it has generated across the globe. It is a completely new idea in which a pile of huge plastic trash has been named as the country and the people from across the globe are encouraged to be its citizens.
The innovative aspect is that the citizens have not been told to sign the petition rather they are asked to sign the petition for becoming its citizens. It has helped them to accept Trash Isles and promote its objective of protecting its oceans.
In this aspect, Can model is that irrational model concerning decision making system in which the opportunities are created by the organizations in driving necessary solutions. Zhu and Kindarto (2016) demonstrated that Can Model analyses disconnections between participants, solutions and problems so that effective decisions can be implemented.
The Garbage Can Model states that the managers cannot have all information that is required for making right decisions. This ensures that the managers have to implement decisions that prove best for the organisations. In this context, the main purpose of Plastic Ocean International is that of creating awareness of plastic pollution and influencing them to devise proper strategies.
Since the governments have been ignoring this aspect quite a long time, the concept of this country has been adopted for attracting both young and old generations. They can influence the governments to take necessary steps for removing this pollution menace.
Hollensen (2019) stated that the decision makers have to work in an uncertain environment which requires them to make decisions without any rational approach. This campaign has necessary integration of the participants in which the citizens and influential people have contributed in promoting this campaign and making it successful globally.
It has also garnered positive response from the UN in its collective approach in creating awareness of this detrimental plastic pollution and driving innovative solutions for protecting the ocean. For this reason, it can be given a score of 8 out of 10. This score has been given based on its popularity and praises given from various spheres of life.
In this context, the risks have been high since the idea of the country to the trash of plastic has been new and apart from this, previous other campaigns have not been able to garner attention as required. The individuals and the governments are well aware of the adverse effects of plastic pollution, nothing constructive strategies have been implemented till date.
In this context, it can be said that the degree of creativity and integration is quite high in this campaign as it has generated more attention than it has expected earlier. Opresnik (2018) stated that the mixing and matching of elements in an organisation helps in implementing choices and decisions that can help in overcoming problems and issues. In this context, the inclusion of all the participants in decision making aspects has helped in improving the reach of this campaign.
In this campaign, the organization has not used marketing tools like advertisements, press release, and email marketing. Generally, a campaign is brought in focus by creating advertisements which can make people aware of its objectives goals. Key and Czaplewski (2017) viewed that implementation of a marketing communication mix helps in generating responses in all levels serving its purpose of meeting demands of the market.
It has not been dependent on advertisements in mass media or publishing its campaign in its articles rather it has devised the strategies of creating website of Trash Isles and collaborating with change.org for signing the petition to become citizens.
One of its communication tools is usage of its website which appeals to all the people to be its citizens and help it to promote its goals and objectives to others. In comparison to other campaigns, this campaign has been unique for its conception of a state to the given pile of trash that has taken the area of France.
The campaign has been unique as this campaign has not been dependent on the slogan and its organisers but rather than on the participation of all the people joining Trash of Isles as its citizens. This campaign can influence other campaigns to bring a novel concept and garner desired attention from its target customers.
The success of the campaign shows that it does not require huge costs in making it successful rather than it requires overall participation of the people. The website of this Trash Isles has all the necessary details of the objectives of this campaign including necessary strategies for preventing this pollution.
The new idea which could have been included in this campaign is giving badges to all its citizens who pledge to mitigate this menace and promote beautiful surroundings.
This will help in infusing new spirit among its citizens. It could have also included adverse effects of plastic pollution in land and soil which also interferes with the food of humans. This could have brought more efforts on the parts of the governments and world leaders to take necessary steps in banning usage and production of plastics.
The online and offline communication has played an important role in communicating its objectives and goals to its target audience. Finne and Grönroos (2017) stated that the utilising both offline and online communication helps in dealing with a large number of audience that also helps in analysing their preferences and needs. In this context, both online and offline communication has been utilised in the form of social media and websites and posters.
The poster campaign has run in East and Central London that has been targeted media agencies for creating further its PR. This shows that the communication tools have been properly utilised for creating awareness among a large number of people.
The combination of using both online and offline tools has helped it to improve marketing its campaign across borders. These have also helped in overcoming risks of getting this novel idea rejected by its target audience.
Batra, R. and Keller, K.L., (2016). Integrating marketing communications: New findings, new lessons, and new ideas. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), pp.122-145.
Bentley, J.M., White, J.M., Weiss, D. and Shields, J.D., (2016). Teaching integrated marketing communication campaigns. Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication, 6(1), p.18.
Dočekalová, M.P. and Hornungová, J., (2017). Environmental Reporting as a Part of a Marketing Communication. In Strategic Innovative Marketing (pp. 331-336). Springer, Cham.
Du, S., and Sen, S. (2016). Challenging competition with CSR: Going beyond the marketing mix to make a difference. Marketing Intelligence Review, 8(1), pp.18-23.
Finne, Å. and Grönroos, C., (2017). Communication-in-use: customer-integrated marketing communication. European Journal of Marketing, 51(3), pp.445-463.
Hollensen, S., (2019). Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.
Key, T.M. and Czaplewski, A.J., (2017). Upstream social marketing strategy: An integrated marketing communications approach. Business Horizons, 60(3), pp.325-333.
Naumovska, L. and Blazeska, D., (2016). Public relation based model of integrated marketing communications. UTMS Journal of Economics, 7(2), pp.175-186.
Opresnik, M.O., (2018). Effective Social Media Marketing Planning–How to Develop a Digital Marketing Plan. In International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media (pp. 333-341). Springer, Cham.
Popescu, D.I., (2016). Promotional Mix and Integration of Communication into Management Policy-Case Study. Revista de Management Comparat Internațional, 17(5), pp.466-476.
Porcu, L., Del Barrio-Garcia, S. and Kitchen, P.J., (2017). Measuring integrated marketing communication by taking a broad organisational approach. European Journal of Marketing.
Zhu, Y.Q. and Kindarto, A., (2016). A garbage can model of government IT project failures in developing countries: The effects of leadership, decision structure and team competence. Government Information Quarterly, 33(4), pp.629-637.
Academic Research Writing Arm of Global Research Services.