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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

DBS Recycle more, Waste less: Cutting through the clutter

Entered in Social Good Campaign


DBS Bank's purpose is to be a force for good in the world and one of the ways we do this is by championing the cause of social entrepreneurship – sustainable businesses created for the purpose of contributing to society while generating income (Enterprises with dual bottom-line: social good and profit)

In line with our brand ethos, "Live more, Bank less", and the growing threat of environmental degradation, DBS launched a movement across all our regional markets to Recycle more, Waste less.

Our objective was to mainstream the movement with an urban, digitally-active audience by giving them a way to participate in the real world through DBS-supported social enterprises that focus on recycling and waste management.

We wanted to grow awareness about the need for tackling the urban waste issue with the target audience. In India, this target audience was in the age group of 25-40 years, with efforts concentrated across the top 6 Indian Metros.

Strategy and Execution

DBS-supported social enterprises - Greensole and Sampurn(e)arth – working in the space of recycling in India - were at the core of the communication campaign that was focused on positioning "recycling" as cool, by highlighting how new-age solutions can make doing good fun and easy.

Launched against the backdrop of the State Government declaring a ban on single-use plastics** #RecycleMoreWasteLess was not just a communication campaign, but a movement that urges citizens to make small changes and support sustainable solutions that can help solve the waste crisis.

We gathered insights about the target audience - digitally savvy millennials who are inclined towards altruistic messaging and who want to contribute to the environment/society. We found that they were interested in supporting social causes, but unsure of smart, new ways to "do good" other than traditional ways like donating funds. Hence we reimagined the typical CSR style of social messaging by developing relatable content while retaining a compelling narrative.

Our creative approach included a unique use of mass influencer engagement to spread awareness of a solution to a social problem through atypical storytelling. This unique approach was reinforced through the use of innovative and interactive digital formats that conveyed the message without preaching to or guilt-tripping the audience.

The hero content comprised two fast-paced, relatable videos that built a solution-focused narrative of two Social Innovators:

All content led to a dedicated, responsive Social Innovators web-page on the DBS website which had details on each enterprise, how DBS has mentored them and how the viewer could join the movement to #RecycleMoreWasteLess. The webpage was promoted via contextual banners on GDN and OneNative.

Popular social media personality Jose Covaco and DBS co-created snack-able, light-hearted videos about the cause in his native style, thus mainstreaming the message with a wider audience. One video had Jose's friend being saved from his disease of "shoe-hoarderitis" with help from Greensole and the other parodied a vox-pop format with wet and dry garbage which wanted to be separated, helped by Sampurn(e)arth.

Posts on social media mapped out an audience journey – setting up the size of the issue, presenting the solution as well as a way to participate in the movement through the Social Innovators. Supporting content used witty captions, interspersed with hard-hitting facts and leveraged contextual events like festivals and national holidays to reinforce the message.

The Digital Innovations included Mcanvas, a platform for small screens, where an interactive mobile ad was created which allowed gamified storytelling. Here the viewer had to partake in a time-based recycling challenge or recycle an old shoe to transform it into a new one, after which they could view the DBS Social Innovator videos or visit the DBS Social Innovator webpage.

An interactive quiz was set up on popular online publisher Storypick in time to weigh in on the chatter around post-festival litter. The quiz required viewers to answer 5 questions to generate custom eco-personas and share them on social media.

In a break-through format, shoe shoppers were contextually targeted on the Amazon e-commerce mobile site to encourage people buying new shoes to recycle their old ones.


We wanted to grow the Recycle More, Waste Less movement in India to tackle the insurmountable waste crisis through sustainable, innovative solutions.

The videos had real-world impact. The highly watchable Recycle More, Waste Less videos with the Social Innovators Greensole and Sampurnearth garnered over 10 million video views

Leveraging contextual events, festivals and public announcements helped increase relevancy and topicality of the movement as the entire campaign generated 1.2 million social engagements.

DBS website traffic increased by 13% during the campaign and the campaign saw more than 170 enquiries from across cities reaching out to DBS to be put in touch with the enterprises in support of the movement.

The relatable content from comedian Jose Covaco (Instagram follower count: 200k) hit home with the right audience as evidenced by the comments, with several other prominent Indian comedians like Malika Dua (Instagram follower count: 673k) and Kaneez Surka (Instagram follower count: 180k) organically appreciated for the videos.

The atypical storytelling cut through the noise and broke-away from the traditional overly-serious formats used for highlighting social issues. The campaign was covered in key A&M media for innovative use digital tools/technologies and clutter-breaking storytelling.


Video for DBS Recycle more, Waste less: Cutting through the clutter

Entrant Company / Organization Name

DBS Bank