Case Study: How Amazon India UGC campaign for Global Recycling Day garnered 2.5k+ sustainability pledges

Amazon India UGC campaign

Launched ahead of Global Recycling Day, the Amazon India UGC campaign drove home the message of reducing packaging waste by encouraging customers to reuse Amazon boxes in creative ways.

Amazon India rolled out a UGC campaign that encouraged customers to collectively engage in reducing packaging waste. Advocating them to embrace recyclable practices, the #PledgeToReuse campaign calls on customers to discover the alternative benefits of an Amazon delivery box by repurposing it in creative ways, rather than discarding them as waste. The case study delves deeper into the campaign execution and results.

Category Introduction

Last year has seen e-commerce play a more central role in enabling customers to have their essentials being delivered to their doorstep in a safe and timely manner. With customers and businesses relying on e-commerce more than ever, Amazon has relentlessly focused on enhancing safety, increasing selection, convenience, ease, and speed of delivery across the country. This has seen the company strengthening its operations footprint, and building a fast, safe, and resilient network to seamlessly fulfill customer promises and serve their varied needs. 

While Amazon India continued to expand, it continued to build on its sustainability commitment. The company has taken a multi-fold approach towards reducing its carbon footprint across its operations, which extends across waste, energy, and water conversation. The last year has also seen the company introducing several sustainability efforts globally and locally, that supports ‘The Climate Pledge commitment’.

Amazon India has eliminated 100% single-use plastic packaging originating from its 60+ fulfilment centers in India. The first milestone towards this goal was achieved in December 2019 when the company replaced plastic packaging material, such as bubble wraps and air pillows, with ‘paper cushion’ in its packaging. The company then introduced 100% plastic-free and biodegradable paper tape earlier this year, which is used to seal and secure customer shipments. Additionally, the company has replaced thin cling films for customer deliveries among other material with packaging options that are not single-use plastic in nature. All other plastic packaging material originating from the Amazon Fulfilment Centers is 100% recyclable through available collection, segregation and recycling channels. Amazon has installed solar panels across 8 Fulfilment Centres and 2 Sort Centres. In January 2020, Amazon had committed to introduce 10,000 Electric Vehicles (EVs) into its delivery fleet by 2025.

Brand Introduction

The Amazon.in marketplace is operated by Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd, an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Amazon.in seeks to build the most customer-centric online destination for customers to find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online by giving them more of what they want – vast selection, low prices, fast and reliable delivery, and a trusted and convenient experience; and provide sellers with a world-class e-commerce marketplace.

Summary

To engage consumers and raise awareness towards environmental sustainability, the brand launched a ‘user-generated content’ campaign – #PledgeToRecycle.

The campaign was launched ahead of Global Recycling Day (18 March) on 3-March-2021 and ended on 15 March 2021. The campaign had two key elements:

  1. The audience taking on a pledge to recycle their boxes, and
  2. A contest where participants could get creative and showcase their DIY creations using their Amazon delivery boxes.

The campaign was supported by influencers who helped drive the pledge and seed creative ideas. With participation from customers in the form of pictures, videos, and messages about reusing their boxes, they became our evangelists and ambassadors and further helped push forward the narrative to an even larger audience.

Problem Statement

During the pandemic, customers showed signs of becoming sustainability-sensitive. There was a 25% YoY growth* in searches for ‘how to recycle’ in India, compared to flat growth in 2019. The brand saw this as an opportunity to encourage customers to collectively engage in reducing packaging waste. With customers being an integral part of the brand’s stakeholder ecosystem, it was decided to leverage #GlobalRecyclingDay to turn the customers into brand evangelists whilst advocating the adoption of recyclable practices into everyday life.  

*Year in Search: 2020 Report

Brief

The brief was to leverage the growing sensitivity towards sustainability on social media and urge consumers to engage in a positive and creative manner.

The overall mission was to strengthen Amazon India’s commitment towards environmental sustainability.

Creative Idea

To cause the shift in perception, a ‘user-generated content’ campaign was launched that built awareness and engagement among customers and social media users on the topic of environmental sustainability in a positive, light-hearted, and creative manner.

The thought behind the campaign was to get customers to look at their Amazon box in a new light – as a blank canvas to create something new and useful.

Customers were first sensitized to the idea of ‘reusing a cardboard box’ by taking on a pledge – #PledgeToReuse – by simply commenting/replying using the hashtag. Next, they were urged to showcase their creativity by sharing images or videos of their reused-DIY projects by tagging the brand and using #PledgeToReuse. Three select entries were gratified daily and three grand winners were announced at the end of the campaign.

The campaign was supported by a group of relevant influencers who encouraged others to take on the pledge and shared their own creations as DIY videos to seed ideas.

The campaign was further amplified by placement on the website’s homepage and featured it on Amazon India’s owned channels.

Challenges

The challenge was to present the issue in a light-hearted tone without taking away from the main message of ‘reuse’. To help achieve the balance, DIY format was leveraged which naturally leans towards ‘reuse, recycle & reduce’.

Also Read: Case Study: How Sleepwell synonymized itself with healthy sleep through influencer outreach

Execution

The campaign was launched ahead of Global Recycling Day (18 March) and ran from 3-15 March 2021 across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The two-phase campaign was launched on 3 March with a digital film that introduced the idea of reusing the box by sharing some fun, simple examples of ‘how’. The film was released across social media.

Phase 1 of the Amazon India UGC campaign was to drive pledges and to open up the customers’ minds towards reusing a delivery box to create something new and useful for themselves. Customers were asked to comment/reply or post using – #PledgeToReuse.

As part of phase 2, a contest was launched for customers which were active from 6-15 March 2021. During this period, they were urged to share their ideas and creations with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag. Daily, three winners were gratified and at the end of the contest, the three most unique ideas were announced as grand winners.

During this phase, the Amazon India UGC campaign was supported by a group of niche and targeted influencers who helped amplify the pledge and helped seed creative DIY ideas:

The Amazon India UGC campaign was given visibility on the brand blog – Day One and on the e-commerce website’s homepage.

Results

Quantitative

  1. Across consumer facing brand handles across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  2. Received 1000+ unique contest entries
  3. Over 2500 pledges were taken
  4. The impact of the campaign was amplified through media outreach efforts, which garnered 64 stories across regional and national online media

Qualitative

Customers unleashed their creativity and submitted inspiring entries in both, video and image formats.

Quotes

Speaking about the campaign, Prakash Kumar Dutta, Vice President, Fulfilment Centre & Supply Chain Operations, Amazon India, said, “The ‘Pledge to Reuse’ is an engaging educational campaign designed to promote the idea of incorporating recycling and reuse practices into everyday life. We are committed to reducing packaging waste and it is encouraging to see the number of ‘Recycling Heroes’ who are supporting our green agenda. The campaign encourages customers to adopt a circular economy approach through upcycling, and will play a central role in creating awareness and enabling customers to adopt sustainable practices”.

“Over the last few years, we have seen a consistent shift in focus towards sustainable alternatives and environmentally conscious choices in consumers all over the world. The pandemic, however, catapulted us into a new reality and added a sense of urgency when it comes to making responsible buying choices. Amazon India, over the years, has taken multiple steps to reduce packaging waste. And now with thousands of consumers pledging to reuse and creating wonderful items from Amazon boxes, #PledgeToReuse has started a much-needed ripple effect – which is the objective we set out to achieve.” says Srishti Gairola, Associate Vice President, Head – West for Organic by MSL. 


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