When we educate and engage with Manitobans, we empower them to make proper recycling decisions. We must remain engaged with our audience so we can reach our objective. After all, people and communities across the province helped us achieve so much, so quickly.
We use surveys and analysis to help create our promotion and education (P&E) campaigns and initiatives. In order to motivate Manitobans to recycle their empty beverage containers, we leverage creative and entertaining ways to educate them.
Our third-party research shows that Recycle Everywhere campaigns are an effective method of educating our audience on the importance of recycling.
This year, we used an online survey to better gauge the awareness Manitobans have about proper recycling and current recycling issues. The initial results were very positive, and showed us that we’re on the right track in teaching Manitobans proper recycling habits. Our advertising campaigns have had a positive impact, with 68 per cent of all respondents recalling advertisements about beverage containers.
In the fall we conducted an online survey with 1,000 Manitobans; in Winnipeg and in the communities of Steinbach, Thompson, Brandon and Portage la Prairie.
Some of the key learnings were as follows:
In 2018, we conducted a focus group in the city of Brandon, which was a first for us outside of Winnipeg. We learned the unique sensitivities of the region, and this gave us a better understanding of Manitoban’s perception of recycling efforts in our province.
All of this research helps us do a better job identifying beverage container recycling behaviours and barriers across the province, and are essential to helping us reach our goal.
In 2018, we expanded the success of our province-wide “Whatever It Takes” advertising campaign with the “You Can Do This” campaign. These general awareness campaigns appeared across our province in print, outdoor and online ads, targeting a wide range of demographics. These campaigns have proven to increase the number of Manitobans who choose to recycle their beverage containers.
The key message in both campaigns was that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, do whatever it takes to recycle empty beverage containers.
In addition to our “You Can Do this” campaign, we launched our first contamination awareness campaign. Informed by the results of our waste audit, this campaign was designed to inform the public of the consequence that wrong materials have on recycling. Focusing on the top three Recycle Everywhere bin contaminants (disposable coffee cups, leftover liquid, and food waste) we showed Manitobans that when these types of materials make their way into blue bins, they “Turn Blue Bins into Garbage Bins,” and ruin our collective recycling efforts.
We continued to develop individual targeted campaigns for use in online, social media and television. These campaigns segmented Manitobans into three age groups: 18–24, 25–54, and 55+.
Based on our research we realized each of these demographics needed specific messages to properly motivate and encourage them to recycle. Taking into their age, media consumption, and psychographic factors like what type of advertising resonates with them, we developed effective strategies for each group.
Our research showed we needed to convince 18–24 year olds to recycle beverage containers and that we needed to help them form good recycling habits. For our youngest demographic, using humour and featuring people their own age in our ads was key to show that empty beverage containers belong in the blue bin.
Another approach we took to best reach this audience was to place our “Terrifying Fall” ads where they would see them, including for the first time, on Snapchat. These 6-second videos showing a can and a bottle being accidently knocked down from up high and eventually landing safely and happily in a blue bin.
We brought back our talking robotic Recycle Everywhere bin at Assiniboine Park Zoo, Kildonan Place and Super-Spike (a new sponsorship partner). This tactic not only engaged our youngest demographic, but also our 25–54 year olds group by enabling them to have a direct conversation with our brand. These Robo-Bin stunts helped us highlight the accessibility of our Recycle Everywhere bins.
In addition to these efforts, we leveraged unique media placements and techniques by releasing a series of 8-second “Doing Whatever it Takes” ads. We targeted this specific demographic with the first of three ads, showing a man doing what it takes to get to a blue bin, even if it means running over mouse traps or through an onslaught of snowballs.
This demographic has embraced recycling empty beverage containers, and we continued to encourage them to keep up the good work and to recycle even more.
Last year we introduced Bernie and Gracie the recycling expert raccoons. Bernie and Gracie appeared in several commercials, and we decided to bring them back for 2018 with all new commercials for television and additional content for social media. While rummaging through trash cans and answering people’s questions, Bernie and Gracie encouraged our audience to recycle even more beverage containers.
These folks tend to be the most avid beverage container recyclers, so we wanted to reinforce their already high recycling effort rates.
We needed to resonate with them on an emotional level, so we told them a story we called "Heart Strings".
This television commercial contained very few words and featured older family members as role models, by setting examples of responsible behaviour, to the younger members of the families. This ad was meant to be more emotional to help reinforce this demographics' high rate of recycling empty beverage containers, but also a reminder to teach the younger generations the proper way to recycle.
Our social media accounts saw strong growth throughout 2018. We offered up great contests, like “win one of five bikes” and other engaging and educational content for our audience. As a result, our engagement scores on each account showed strong numbers, with nearly 10,000 engagements on Facebook, more than 5,400 on Instagram and nearly 1,500 on Twitter. Twitter saw the strongest engagement growth in 2018 with 790 more than the previous year. Both Facebook and Instagram saw impressive follower growth with 739 likes added to our Facebook page and 234 followers added to our Instagram account.
These numbers show that our content was appealing to our followers and that we’re on the right path, and we plan to continue utilizing our social media accounts to engage with and answer our followers’ questions in 2019.
The Recycle Everywhere Street Team is dedicated to spreading the word about our programs and best recycling practices through engagement with as many Manitobans as possible and partnering with event organizers to improve their beverage recycling efforts. In 2018, we attended Festival du Voyageur, NHL Jets Playoff Street Parties, Folklorama, Winnipeg Pride, Thompson Nickel Days, Gimli Film Festival, Super-Spike, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and the MEC Race Series, among many other events.
The Street Team attended events in Thompson, The Pas, and Dauphin to emphasize the importance of beverage container recycling in Northern Manitoba.
The Street Team also plays a crucial role in engaging with the public in an immediate manner. They’re able to ask questions at events, and through this we’re able to learn what Manitobans want and think about recycling. For example, 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/workplaces.
"It's inspiring that northern Manitoba schools are taking a leadership role in expanding recycling with Recycle Everywhere's Northern Backhaul Schools Project."
Our projects continued to earn valuable media attention throughout 2018.
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Hon. Rochelle Squires, as well as representatives from both schools who took part in our Northern Schools Backhaul Project, and Arctic Beverages joined us in Norway House for a congratulatory presentation for all those involved.
During the presentation, Hon. Rochelle Squires issued a friendly challenge to other northern schools to join the initiative. This challenge resulted in three additional schools joining the project and more recyclables being diverted from the landfill.
We were also proud to again partner with MMSM to host the 2018 Northern & First Nations Community Cleanup. We issued a joint news release congratulating the winning community and hosted a celebratory barbecue where we presented Bloodvein First Nation with their first place prize.
The majority of the traffic to the Recycle Everywhere website in 2018 came from direct and organic search methods. We attribute the search activity to our engaging campaigns, and that Manitobans want to learn more about recycling.
The website was utilized as a hub and landing page for high priority projects throughout the year. One of those projects was our Contamination campaign that aimed to inform Manitobans on the seriousness of the issue.
We launched the campaign in the fall and it ran on digital and print and directed people to our website to learn more. The ‘What Goes in the Bin’ web page featured an informative chart of what belongs in our bins and what doesn’t, as well as an extensive list of FAQs around the topic of contamination.
We also utilized the website for the very successful Bin Bag initiative. We overhauled the Campgrounds and Cottages webpage and optimized it for top tier visibility. This page was used as the hub for Bin Bag distribution in 2018 and featured a regularly updated list of pick-up locations along with the dates and times of events where the Bin Bags would be available.
Our community sponsorships play a vital role in helping us ensure our message reaches Manitobans. While supporting many great organizations throughout the province, we increase our brand awareness and the opportunities to engage with our audience. We were proud to sponsor these organizations in 2018.