Building Awareness through Powerful Communications

Every year, Recycle Everywhere executes research projects as part of our promotion and education initiatives. We use this information to confirm that our direction is furthering Manitoba’s commitment to recycling empty beverage containers, and it allows us to answer any questions from consumers.

Research

Our surveys and analysis throughout 2017 resulted in great feedback which helped model our ongoing campaigns. The research revealed that Recycle Everywhere campaigns continue to encourage more Manitobans to recycle their empty beverage containers.


This year, we confirmed that as with previous years, there is an extremely high level of awareness among Manitobans that all beverage containers are recyclable. We know that our presence in the community is working, as recognition of the Recycle Everywhere logo rose to 90%. We also know that our advertising messages are getting across to Manitobans effectively, as citizens recall beverage container ads far ahead of any other type of recycling-related advertising on an unaided basis. In fact, awareness of Recycle Everywhere’s blue recycling bins remains very high for all Manitobans at 87 per cent.


We used geo-targeting technology in 2017 to gather accurate data from specific locations around the province. That information allows us to ensure that we are targeting Manitobans with effective messaging and gathering accurate data about their recycling behaviours.

Advertising

In 2017, we continued the successes of our province-wide advertising with the introduction of our Whatever It Takes campaign. This general awareness campaign appeared broadly across the province, and targeted a large swath of audiences in multiple demographics. We have seen a steady increase in Manitobans’ commitment towards recycling their empty beverage containers, but we know that we have to keep pushing our communications efforts to ensure citizens recycle every beverage container every time to achieve our 75 per cent recovery rate target.


Whatever It Takes allowed us to further capitalize on Manitobans commitment to recycling empty beverage containers with a campaign focused on their dedication. Whatever It Takes served as the central theme for our campaign’s out-of-home, print, radio and online advertisements. Innovative new outdoor executions for the 2017 campaign displayed everyday people dealing with a hectic situation while still managing to get their recyclable beverage containers into a blue bin. These scenes took place inside and outside the home: in the kitchen, walking the dog, playing soccer, or setting the table. The key message was that no matter what you’re doing or where you are, do Whatever It Takes to Recycle Everywhere.

Targeted Campaigns

In addition to the general awareness campaign, we also developed individual targeted campaigns for use in online and social media video ads, and on television. These campaigns segmented Manitobans into three distinct age groups: 18–24, 25–54, and 55+. We completed research on each demogrpahic to learn how to best share the right message and ultimately encourage recycling. Based on our research, we knew that each of these groups represented different objectives. Each group presented a unique opportunity to reach them in different ways because of a combination of demographic considerations like their age and how they like to consume media, and psychographic factors like what type of advertising will resonate most strongly with them. Our data showed that we needed to convince 18–24 year olds to recycle beverage containers, and to form good beverage container recycling habits. 25–54 year olds embrace recycling beverage containers, but we recognized that we need to encourage them to recycle even more beverage containers. Of all the age groups, those in the 55+ group tended to be the most avid beverage container recyclers, so we wanted to reinforce their already high rates of beverage container recycling.

Reaching the 18–24 Demographic

We used different tactics to speak to each of these audiences. For our youngest audience, we used humour and featured people their own age in our ads to demonstrate that recycled materials are valuable in a series of “transformation” TV ads. The ads showed that without recycled beverage containers, many household items would simply disappear. We also used 5-second YouTube ads for targeted quick-hit messages, and engaged influencers and local celebrities to spread our beverage container recycling message, and convince this audience.

Our experiential advertising efforts included placing a talking robotic Recycle Everywhere bin at colleges and universities throughout Winnipeg and at several malls. This tactic engaged our young demographic and our 25–54 demographic directly by literally having our brand come face to face with them and communicate directly. Our robotic bin approached people to talk to them about recycling, and asked those holding beverage containers to recycle them right then and there. This stunt allowed us to highlight that Recycle Everywhere’s presence of bins is everywhere they go, and that recycling is easy because our blue bins are so widespread.

Reaching the 25–54 Demographic

We introduced Manitoba to their new favourite recycling experts, Bernie and Gracie the raccoons. Bernie and Gracie appeared on television in a series of commercials entitled, Meet the Neighbours. Bernie and Gracie showed up at people’s doors after rummaging through their trash to point out all of the recyclable beverage containers that almost ended up in a landfill. Bernie and Gracie encourage our audience to recycle even more beverage containers than they already do, and make this particular segment’s optimistic estimations about their recycling behavior a reality.

Bernie also appeared solo on social media and online videos in a spot entitled, Bernie’s Mailbag (youtube.com/user/RecycleEverywhere). This eight-part weekly series appeared on the medium where our segment spends significant amounts of their time, and features Bernie answering some of the most commonly asked recycling questions, or addressing common misconceptions. Bernie’s fun-loving personality helps to illustrate how easy and effortless beverage container recycling is, and encourages this segment to Recycle Everywhere.

Reaching the 55+ Demographic

To reach our oldest demographic, we knew we needed something that would resonate with them on an emotional level to reinforce their beverage container recycling behaviours. We also found from research that this older demographic is more likely to pay attention to longer advertising narratives, and remain engaged to hear the full story. By happy coincidence, we heard about a young boy out in Victoria Beach who was making a big impact in his community by helping his fellow cottagers recycle. We knew this was the perfect heartfelt story that our 55+ demographic would love, so we created a series of ads entitled Bennett’s Bike.

Bennett’s Bike

In the summer of 2017, we shared the story of 10-year-old Bennett and his recycling business. Bennett made it his mission to make sure recyclables, including empty beverage containers, always end up in the right place.

We met Bennett in the cottage community of Victoria Beach, where he’s been operating Bennett’s Bike Delivery since he was seven years old.


During the summer in Victoria Beach, no cars are allowed, which left cottagers with no option but to walk with their recyclables to community bins. Bennett saw an opportunity to help out and do whatever it takes to make sure his community’s recyclables end up where they belong. Recycle Everywhere featured this young entrepreneur and his business in a short documentary, a TV spot, behind the scenes video, and a number of online pieces that were met with an extremely positive response.


To thank Bennett for his commitment to recycling his community’s empty beverage containers, we gifted him with a brand new bike and trailer sporting a new Bennett’s Bike Delivery brand, and encouraged him to continue his cause.

Social Media

There was a strong push on all Recycle Everywhere social media accounts that resulted in impressive growth across all platforms in 2017. We created an Instagram account just one year ago, and in that short time it has seen a jump of nearly 950 followers. It has been used by our Street Team to showcase the many exciting events they attended throughout the summer, and allows us to share our brand messaging and original content. Near the end of the year we hired a Communications Coordinator to help us focus on our social media accounts and continue our growth using professional photos, videos, graphics and informative captions. The improvements we’ve made helped us grow our Facebook page likes by 477 and our Twitter followers by 82 in a very short period of time.

Street Team

In 2017, the Street Team attended 171 events. They appeared 233 times, and our mascot BINjamin appeared 102 times.

The Recycle Everywhere Street Team continues to engage with as many Manitobans as possible to help us spread the word about our programs. They also help event organizers to better manage their beverage container recycling efforts. Among many events, we attended Festival de Voyageur, the 2017 Canada Games, Winnipeg Folk Fest, Kidney Foundation Walks in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Morden, 19 school BBQs and presentations, Kids Fringe Festival, and Thompson Nickle Days.


The Street Team prioritized events in northern Manitoba, from Thompson to Cranberry-Portage. They provided information to northern Manitobans about the benefits of beverage container recycling at home, school, and in their communities.


The Street Team also plays a role in surveying the public. When asked, “In what type of public spaces would you like to see more Recycle Everywhere bins?” the public has again chosen parks as their number one answer, followed by streetscapes and office buildings/workplace.

Public Relations

Recycle Everywhere’s innovative projects and continued efforts resulted in earned media attention throughout 2017. One of our most notable events was a multi-project news conference in April, joined by then Minister of Sustainable Development, Cathy Cox, to announce a partnership with all government owned buildings in the northern region. We also initiated a partnership with Manitoba property owners to spread awareness of our Beyond the City program and gave away 30,000 Bin Bags. Minister Cathy Cox also joined us for an event in July where we handed out more than 300 Bin Bags at Falcon Lake and held a barbecue for anyone who joined us.


2017 was also a momentous year for CBCRA and its Recycle Everywhere program as we announced a 70 per cent recovery rate for 2016. We announced this with a news release in June and earned stories in publications across the province.


In October, Recycle Everywhere issued a news release about the findings of our annual litter audit. Five cities were included in the audit that revealed a consistent decrease of beverage container litter in all five locations year after year. This release was widely shared and earned news stories online, on television, and on radio. Several articles were also written and submitted to numerous publications across the province during the year.

Website

The Recycle Everywhere website experienced continued growth in 2017, with 92 per cent of traffic being new site visitors. The majority of our website traffic came from direct searches, which demonstrates that more and more people are recalling Recycle Everywhere by name and searching for us directly. This validates the effectiveness of our extensive advertising campaigns and the success of our projects aimed at driving people to our website.


We improved the overall user experience of our website through extensive back-end enhancements, which boosted our SEO ranking. By combining valuable content, investing in paid media, and undertaking new initiatives aimed at building awareness, we have successfully established ourselves as a recycling resource within the community.

Sponsorships

Engaging with the community continued to be our focus, and our partnerships in 2017 yielded tremendous results. We renewed our sponsorships with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and the Manitoba Moose.


As part of our partnership with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, Recycle Everywhere once again sponsored the On-Ice Clean Up. This opportunity saw our branded content on the ice three times every period in front of a dedicated, local audience throughout the entire hockey season. We also sponsored the Building Owner and Managers Association (BOMA) Expo Breakfast. As part of this sponsorship, we were able to share our message in front of a large audience of influential leaders in their sector.

"We renewed sponsorships with the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and the Manitoba Moose."