Spreading positive vibes

Purpose Disruptors, D&AD and WeTransfer partner up to reset the advertising industry

Earlier this year we learned about an initiative called Purpose Disruptors, on a mission to reset the advertising mindset. As a network of industry insiders working together to tackle climate change, Purpose Disruptors recognize that the power to change behavior comes with great responsibility, and they saw that even the pandemic had a slight silver lining.

After hitting pause on “normal life”, global emissions will likely be down 7% by the end of 2020. The United Nations (UN) say we need a decrease of 7.6% every year until 2030 to avoid an ecological disaster.

The Great Reset is an initiative from Purpose Disruptors aiming to make these positive environmental shifts the new normal. In a detailed white paper The Great Reset sets out to encourage the advertising industry to, well, reset: by resetting the way we work—shifting from passive receivers of briefs to change agents; resetting what we create—using creativity to promote sustainable lifestyles not just drive consumption, and resetting our impact—taking full responsibility for the carbon created as a result of creative work, not just production and operations. The initiative was launched with a film that acts as a rallying cry to the industry to use its creativity and influence to make a difference. 

Dan Gee (Head of EMEA Sales and Brand Partnerships, WeTransfer): "Achieving B Corp certification is the start of a journey for WeTransfer. A journey that we hope will be joined by many other brands and businesses as they seek to be a part of a sustainable future, one where we leave the planet and society in a better condition than we found it. 

As a major advertising platform, WeTransfer is also part of a global community of creative professionals who work to change the way people think and feel about brands and products. We believe we also have a responsibility to encourage others from within our industry to adopt better environmental and social behaviors. This is why, for example, we offer other B Corps an exclusive 20% discount. It is also this desire to empower and encourage others within the advertising world to adopt more sustainable approaches that made us so excited to join forces with Purpose Disruptors and their initiative, The Great Reset."

The Great Reset is a creative competition with a dual purpose. Firstly to raise awareness of the responsibility we have as an industry that drives consumption, which is a major contributor to climate change (60% of greenhouse gases are from household consumption). Secondly, to enable creators to make work in response to the creative brief developed by BBH’s Chief Strategy Officer, Will Lion, in August.

After the D&AD New Blood Academy judged the 160+ admissions, WeTransfer gathered its own jury to award two entries the additional prize of a wallpaper campaign on wetransfer.com. The judges were:

  • Diana Alcausin, Senior Digital Designer, WeTransfer

  • Nathan Hoang, Digital Designer WeTransfer

  • Suzanne Tromp, Commissioning Editor, WePresent

The brief asked creatives and advertisers to “celebrate the accidental climate heroes of Britain and encourage them to make it a badge of honor.”

Without further ado

Our top two entries and the winners of a campaign on WeTransfer are...

1. Thanks for Nothing

By Design Bridge

Judges, why did Thanks for Nothing win?

Diana: "For me Thanks for Nothing was spot on. It delivered not just on the affirmative proposition in a fun, uplifting tone, the creative was bold, distinctive and put the individual as the hero. I could see people searching for an ad with their own names to share on social media."

Nathan: "Thanks for Nothing hit the brief the most of all the projects submittedit has the wit and the irony. The copy makes the viewer aware they made a change by seemingly doing nothing, and the visuals complement the entire concept with their playfulness while being striking at the same time." 

A peek behind the scenes with Helen Hughes, Sustainability Director at DesignBridge.  

Why did you participate in The Great Reset? 

Amid the chaos and anxiety of COVID-19, the stillness that was witnessed in the environment while we went on pause made people stop and think about how our behavior impacts the planet. The Great Reset recognized this rare window of opportunity to change people’s behaviors for the greater good, and the role that the creative industry could play in that. That was incredibly motivating.

To quote our Executive Creative Director, Claire Robertshaw: “The brief gave us an amazing opportunity to channel our creative energy into positive change. In a year when so much has been out of our control, this was exactly what we all needed and there was a huge amount of support throughout the agency.”

Can you share some of the decisions you made?  

The brilliantly framed brief from The Great Reset team set up the idea of accidental climate heroes using the ‘Dave’ archetype. We played around with this and came to the conclusion we all have a little bit of Dave in us, and we could see how our response could be really inclusive.  Celebrating peoples’ lack of action—apathy as ‘action’—felt really interesting and gave us the opportunity to spark moments of simple, unexpected joy in seemingly small actions, at a time of real adversity.

Our visuals tell the story, but the ‘reveal’ moment is triggered by the action of clicking to upload a document to transfer using the site. This action triggers the animation, sparking life into that user’s decision to send a file digitally—likely due to working from home because of COVID-19 guidance—and reminds them that what they are doing is contributing to the goal of saving the planet too. 

What sparked the idea?

Remote working has become the norm across wider groups of people, and the dependency on digital file transfer is more important than ever. We spotted an opportunity to recognize working from home as climate-positive action, and celebrate it during the dwell time phase of waiting for your files to upload. 

We wanted to inject a moment of celebration for this normalized action which may seem ‘small,’ but actually can make a big difference to our individual carbon footprints. By recognizing and rewarding this small act now we can encourage people to maintain their climate-positive behaviors in the long-term.

How is it to see your work live on WeTransfer? 

To quote Fahud Ahmed, Senior Realisation Designer: “Absolutely buzzing! It’s not every day you get to create something meaningful for the masses and have it showcased on the WeTransfer canvas for millions to see. Considering how often we use the platform during this current remote working life, it felt like a great touchpoint to amplify the powerful message of The Great Reset campaign. We admire how well-curated the content on WeTransfer is, and we feel privileged to see our work go live on it."

2. Everything's Going Green


What did our judges have to say about Everything's Going Green?

Suzanne: "The Going Green campaign was the most striking to me – it is visually very pleasing to look at and cleverly uses symbolism in the rainbow changing to green."

Diana: "Everything's Going Green on the other hand highlights the collective efforts of individuals. It also delivered a literal badge of honour, The rainbow  - a recognised symbol in the UK to show support to front line workers and everyday heroes during the pandemic - and green to symbolise the positive unintended environmental impact of being in lockdown."

Let’s have a chat with Adrian Talbot, Creative Partner at INTRO. 

Why did you get involved in The Great Reset?

We keep an eye open for competitions and opportunities and this one interested us, it offered an opportunity for us, as designers, to contribute in a worthwhile way to things that matter in life. There are a number of big global issues at the moment, and as communicators we want to help if we can.

What inspired your idea?

The rainbow became a symbol of gratitude and hope during lockdown, when you consider that this led to a fall in emissions, as a consequence of people staying close to home, it seemed logical to pursue the idea of a rainbow turning green.

What impact do you hope your work will have?

If it gets us noticed in any way, then that's great but more importantly, we'd like to see the rainbow turning green become a widely adopted symbol for 'building back better' in a post-COVID, climate change-aware, generally more equal society. We need badges and slogans to rally around, maybe this one could unite us in some way?

Learn more about the Purpose Disruptors, and join them on this inspiring journey.