While Singapore ranks among the top 5 cleanest cities in the world, waste generation and waste management are, nevertheless, issues of concern. The amount of waste generated in Singapore has increased about 7-fold over the past 40 years, a problem compounded by the limited land available for waste disposal in the land-scarce country.
In recognition of this, several social enterprises in Singapore are urging people to reduce consumption and waste. Some of these businesses are supported by the DBS Foundation, which was set up by DBS Bank to champion social entrepreneurship, promote social innovation, and encourage the development of businesses for good. DBS Foundation aims to address Asia’s evolving social needs and build a more inclusive society.
We thought it would be a good idea to raise public awareness and generate conversation around issues of waste generation and management by creating videos profiling three eco-friendly social enterprises - Edible Garden City, Treedots and UglyGood – supported by DBS Foundation. Through interesting storytelling and visuals, we worked towards the twin objectives of (1) educating the public on the importance of cutting down on waste, and (2) enhancing the reputation of social enterprises who have come up with innovative ways to manage food waste, so their business propositions can be further strengthened with public support.
We sought to differentiate our campaign from similar ones focused on sustainability issues and create something new and refreshing, especially to appeal to the millennial target audience. We also wanted to avoid a “preachy” tone or positioning ourselves as taking the moral high ground, which might make people feel disillusioned instead of inspired. Overall, our aim was to position DBS as an approachable bank that is in touch with 21st century challenges, and ready to support businesses that do good. We also wanted to communicate that sustainability can be a profitable enterprise, by showcasing how three businesses integrated sustainability into their business models to deliver a dual bottom line: run a profitable business with a strong social impact.
The founders of the three social enterprises being showcased had been trying to generate publicity for their businesses for some time. Our team spent time with the founders to discuss approaches for the video, and the key messages about the businesses that each founder wanted to convey. It was agreed that humour would be the most effective tool in resonating with a larger audience and delivering on the twin objectives of educating the public about waste, while increasing awareness about the work of the social enterprises.
The videos we created are lighthearted and humourous, with unique tones that make them memorable to audiences. The omniscient narrator in the videos is a know-it-all and a sceptic – while he amuses himself throughout the videos, he often learns a thing or two from the founders of the social enterprises that are being featured, as we hoped the audiences would do too. The videos all conclude with the branding of DBS Bank as the champion of ‘Businesses for Good’.
These video assets were predominantly run on digital and social channels with two key calls-to-action:
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