What is it?
WWF’s Earth Hour started in Australia in 2007, when 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 businesses turned off their lights for an hour. Last year, hundreds of millions of people and landmarks such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in London, the India Gate in New Delhi and the Sydney Opera House took part by switching off their lights for 60 minutes.
This year, the charity is aiming to get more people involved in Earth Hour tomorrow, 31 March, by using the web to promote the campaign.
So what’s happening?
WWF has set up a dedicated website, which they say is simple and user-friendly.Visitors to the site can watch a film about the campaign, sign up to take part and spread the word.
The site also contains the latest news about the campaign and a map where people and businesses can show how they intend to get involved.
The global advertising agency Leo Burnett has created a related digital plaform, in collaboration with YouTube, called I Will If You Will. The concept centres around a dare between two people that will ultimately, like Earth Hour, help the planet. For example, one person would get panda tattoo if 100 friends agreed to recycle. They are then encouraged to share the dare publically through Facebook and Twitter.
How is the campaign being promoted?
There is a dedicated Twitter hashtag, #earthhour, which is being used globally to highlight the campaign. WWF has also set up a UK Facebook page, which it is using to educate people in ways to help the planet beyond the 60 minutes of Earth Hour.
There can’t be anything else, surely?
In conjunction with its outdoor media partner Clear Channel, WWF has created three interactive advertisements where passers-by can flip a life-like light switch that changes the graphic on the screen and a globe disappears.
Consumers will have the chance to engage with QR codes that direct people to the Earth Hour website, encouraging them to sign up to the campaign.
Third Sector verdict:
This campaign seems to have all the online bases covered. The YouTube dare platform makes pledging to help the environment a fun and cheeky way to pass the time, while the on-the-street advertising means passers-by are more engaged than with a standard poster. The campaign works hard to make the message last longer than one hour, by encourgaging people to adopt healthier living practices past this weekend.