Billions of single-use plastic cups wind up in landfills each year. To combat this environmental catastrophe, the Ball Aluminum Cup was born. Unlike plastic, aluminum is infinitely recyclable, making it a much more sustainable alternative to single-use plastic brands like the Solo cup. When you recycle the Ball Aluminum Cup, which is itself made from 90% recycled materials, it can be back on the shelf in 60 days.
As great as this product is, and as much as consumers want to take concrete steps toward more responsible choices, awareness of the Ball Aluminum Cup was minimal. So our goals for the campaign were to increase awareness about the Cup's sustainability due to its infinitely recyclable material, as well as the elevated drinking experience it provides. And to drive purchase consideration and trial of the Ball Aluminum Cup through thought-provoking messaging that would resonate among an eco-concious Gen Z and Millennial audience.
Sales goals were ambitious, but the budget was small. Because we wanted to preserve as much of our budget as possible for the media buy, production had to be done on a shoestring. This challenge partly drove the creative development of the campaign itself, with a focus on simple product imagery—with a twist—to get the word out about the Ball Aluminum Cup.
We started with the insight that the Ball Aluminum Cup is more than a terrific product; it’s also an opportunity to make a statement about your values, to show the world—or at least your party guests—that you care about sustainability. Swapping out single-use plastic cups for the Ball Aluminum Cup is an easy change to make, that can make a real difference.
In our “Make a Statement” campaign, the medium becomes the message, showcasing handcrafted statements written directly on the cup—much in the same way that people write their names on their disposable cups at parties. This allows us to put the cup—and branding—front and center in the campaign, but in a way that would break through in the social feed.
Irreverence and authenticity are critical in this campaign, as we know this tone resonates best with our audience of Gen Z’s and millennials; as much as they care about the environment, lecturing doesn’t go over well with them. So statements speak in a cheeky, colloquial, human voice about the cup’s sustainability as well as its other experiential qualities, such as its superior durability, the “cold” effect it provides, the fact that it’s made in the U.S. (unlike many generic plastic brands), and its ability to level up your fun occasions, particularly in summer, such as beach parties and BBQs. Additionally, many of our statements were customized and timed for cultural relevance, relating to occasions like Earth Day, Fourth of July and the summer blockbuster season.
By design, the handmade nature of the campaign allows for a pared-down approach, with human hands providing practical action, as opposed to more complicated (i.e. more expensive) effects. Simplicity of idea and execution in our videos results in a focus on the humorous messaging of the statements and puts the product—and branding—front and center.
Although there had been rapid acceptance of the product at retail, retail sales were not driving planned volume. And unaided awareness was extremely low at 2%. So sales goals were ambitious—but the budget was small. Fortunately, the campaign performed strongly. Sales doubled in six months. And both positive impressions and purchase intent rose 10 points for the ad-aware. We credit these results to a keen insight, clever creative and the number of executions and assets we were able to create on a small budget.
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