Bad Things Happen

A humourous educational brand campaign urged residents to learn what goes in recycling and what doesn’t.

City of Toronto – Solid Waste Management

When it comes to blue bin recycling, City of Toronto residents have experienced confusion about what is and isn’t recyclable. While some believe they are doing the right thing or hope their items can be recycled (‘wish cycling’), they don’t realize that they might be contaminating otherwise good recycling.

The City has done a lot of education around what can be recycled, but it is clear that more education is needed on items that can’t be recycled and why.

In an irreverent and thought-provoking way, we needed to show what happens when wrong items mix with recycling. We leveraged the most common offenders and turned them into characters that make “bad things happen” when coupled with a recyclable item.

With this humourous approach, we looked to capture the attention of Torontonians and drive them to the website to find out how to recycle properly.

We created a series of executions focusing on the usual suspects. The campaign appeared across various media channels including: TV/cinema, pre-roll, newspaper, transit shelter, online video posts on Facebook/mobile and adapted across several ethnic media channels.

All ads include a call-to-action, driving Torontonians to learn more at a dedicated landing page. The videos achieved over 1 million views on Youtube and the City of Toronto witnessed a decrease in the offending characters featured!