Bite-Sized Outreach: A Single-Material Campaign Focuses on Food Waste

A typical set of curbside recycling instructions can leave residents confused. At this year’s California Resource Recovery Association/SWANA conference in San Jose, Gigantic Idea Studio presented an alternative approach: make it bite-sized.

To kick off our session on behavior change outreach and food waste diversion, Wendy Wondersort (aka our own Stefanie Pruegel) hosted the Sorting Game, with NorCal competing against SoCal to win the coveted Golden Pizza Slice. One team was given a long, complicated list of recycling instructions. The other received more straightforward directions. Can you guess who won?

The golden pizza slice winner
And the winner of the coveted Golden Pizza Slice is…Deb Phillips of the San Joaquin Regional Conservation Corps!

The Sorting Game helped us demonstrate how too many messages can lead to poor recycling outcomes. To show a real-world example, we presented the concept and results of a single material outreach campaign conducted with our partners at the City of Livermore earlier this year. This “bite sized” campaign focused on one material – pizza boxes – and used multiple tactics to reach residents. The simple instruction: pizza boxes go in the green cart.

To make our outreach message memorable, we created a “story line,” where Binny, the hungry green Organics cart, visits with a Livermore family as a dinner guest and craves the delicious pizza box once the family is finished eating.

The slideshow below goes into detail on the strategy and tactics of this multi-touch campaign, including partnerships with businesses and community organizations, creation of a 30-second video and accompanying contest, and a combination of online and offline tactics to ensure that residents got the message.

Early results show an increase in the number of pizza boxes correctly sorted and a greater confidence in proper disposal amongst residents surveyed. The City of Livermore has been a great partner, and we look forward to piloting more single-material campaigns in the future and continuing to share outcomes.

Questions?

There were many great questions at the end of our presentation at CRRA, and we wanted to share answers to a few of them:

What were ancillary benefits of the campaign?slide sample: multi-touch campaign

While focusing on one material, we were able to build a character and storyline around it that we can now leverage for other single-material campaigns. In addition to seeing some positive operational results, the campaign’s contest offered the opportunity to opt into receiving Livermore Recycles e-news updates; two-thirds of all contest entrants opted in to receive these news updates.

Is brand consistency between campaign and program recommended?

In general, it is a good idea to have a consistent look and feel for campaigns launched by an agency, and that was our strategy for this campaign. There may be instances when a more neutral or different campaign branding might be appropriate, if appealing to a segment like young people or those who might be distrustful or fearful of government agencies.

Could this type of campaign/strategy be scaled up to a regional or statewide level? 

A bite-sized approach can be scaled up or down, depending on the target audiences. However, a regional or statewide campaign may need to consider leveraging additional or different tactics from a local campaign.

Do you think this type of campaign could be applied to business outreach? 

Absolutely!

Resources

Here are some resources we recommend for further reading on behavior change theory:

Diffusion of Innovations, Everett M. Rogers

Fostering Sustainable Behavior, Doug McKenzie-Mohr

The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

Nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Influence, Robert Cialdini

3 Rules for a Flourishing Website Redesign

Flower Growing in a garden

The Gigantic team is delighted that our newly designed website has gone live. The process of redesign, including a new identity, is something we take clients through all the time. Going through it ourselves reminded us of three ways a website is like a garden.

1. From seed to sprout, it always takes longer than you think. Redesigning and freshening content for a few web pages —- how hard can it be? Pretty challenging, actually. The website needs to reflect who you are, where you are going, and what you do..AND it’s got to do it in clearly organized, attractive and memorable chunks. Inevitably, internal differences are revealed as the organization re-examines its mission, values and direction— good discussions ensue, but they need time to be resolved. We typically allow six to eight months for a full re-design.

2. Choose easy maintenance over a gardening service. Websites can have so many cool features these days, but time and again we see organizations that have to rely on outside technical assistance to change a comma or upload a new photo. It’s important to:

  • Be realistic about internal capacities and get training on site upkeep as needed;
  • Have enough staff who understand and can use the content management system;
  • Document, document, document your procedures.

3. A living thing needs careful tending. Remember when when we overprinted time-limited brochures, or someone missed an error in a key headline or messed up the date of the newsletter? The advantage, but sometime headache, of websites is that they are living entities. On the upside, that means you don’t have to live with errors and can make changes anytime you like. However, it also means you need to supply new content nourishment and occasionally prune what’s there. So the launch of a site is just the beginning and needs to be accompanied by a manual of procedures and style. The manual should include guidelines on updating content, maintaining SEO, organizational tone, evaluating traffic and staff responsibilities. Otherwise, that healthy new site can wilt very quickly.

The new Gigantic-idea.com came to fruition with the help of our partners at Jiva Creative. We look forward to helping our next client with their rebranded website. We know we’ll approach the project with renewed enthusiasm, not to mention a bit more humility, now that we’ve walked in their shoes!

Ten Years of Gigantic History

Remember 2002?

  • The Mars Odyssey found signs of huge water ice deposits on the planet Mars.
  • The Rolling Stones’ LICKS world tour was underway.
  • A gallon of gas cost $1.61.
  • File-swapping site Napster was closed down.
  • Earth Summit 2002 was held in August in Johannesburg, South Africa; the U.S. did not send an official delegation.

Also in 2002: Shana Levy (now McCracken) and Lisa Duba joined up to form a new kind of marketing agency, focused on integrated, behavior-change-focused outreach campaigns for environmental programs. Gigantic Idea Studio was born. Ten years is a milestone for any business, and we feel proud as we look back at the past decade and recall the victories as well as the learning opportunities.

In 2001, Shana and Lisa were working on projects together as they had since 1995, when it dawned on them: Why not join forces and create a more powerful team?

Shana recalls: “Lisa and I already had dozens of projects under our belts, working together at a small marketing agency and then again on and off as sole proprietors. We knew our skills complemented each other, and we had a feeling that formalizing the alliance would be beneficial—not just to us but to our clients.”

“Looking back, it’s easy to see we’ve always been on an upward trajectory,” Lisa reflects, “but as entrepreneurs trying to make it in a very new field, every day has been a challenge. I guess the old saying is right. It really does take 10 years to be an ‘overnight success’!”

In the coming months we’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary year in various ways, online and face-to-face. Watch this space to see what’s coming up! We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in 10 years and envision great things for Gigantic and our clients for years to come.

PageLines