Branding & Communication

How campaign research is helping Greenpeace get more people excited about impactful climate action

Here it comes, the future. Like a great terrifying wave it comes at us in Greenpeace's new TV commercial. The question is what such an initial image does to people. And how do you convert that image into a positive feeling in which people also become motivated to take action themselves for a better future? Together with The Turing Foundation, Dawn and Zigt, Greenpeace developed an impactful public campaign around the climate crisis. At various stages of campaign development, we examined how the campaign aligned with Greenpeace's goal and provided tips on how to do it even better.



Campaign research in three steps

The campaign consists of various means, including TV, radio, online and a website; Blauw evaluated the campaign in three qualitative communication surveys. The surveys were all conducted online because of COVID-19. The advantage was that we could easily talk to people from all over the Netherlands and for the client it was easy to watch online (anonymously).


1. qualitative concept test

We began by testing the commercial. This introduced the idea of the entire campaign. We presented the moving storyboard to Greenpeace's target audience in online in-depth interviews. People told us without influencing others what they think the message of the commercial is. We also learned to what extent they become motivated to take action and why. In addition to the TVC, outdoor posters and a design for the website were tested. The campaign was appreciated and largely understood. It succeeded in calling the necessary attention with the frightening wave and then outlining a hopeful future: "There is still a chance for that bright future." But the conversion to action was still missing. And that's where they went to work at Dawn.

2. test tagon and posters of the commercial

In the second study, we examined alternative for the end of the TV commercial (tag-on) and outdoor posters. Activating the target group was the goal. Through online focus groups we learned how important it was to become concrete about what you expect from your target group. Not only in images, but also in text and voiceover. It also became clear that Greenpeace needs to keep the organization and its goal central in the message. Otherwise this can conflict with expectations of the target group.

3. online quick test of banners

As a final check, Greenpeace wanted to test one specific activation around the 2021 House of Representatives elections. Speed of research was important in this. Therefore, we organized our interviews in parallel, with an immediate oral debrief at the end of the day and the final report the morning after. In this test it became clear how the target group should be addressed and what was the most activating text. Greenpeace was able to go live with the campaign soon after.

Tips to activate your target audience

Based on these studies, we made the following recommendations to get the target audience excited:

  • Be specific about your actions: Just telling people that they should take action doesn't work. Tell what you expect from your target audience, what the purpose of your activation is and how people can participate in it.
  • Tell why people should go to your Web site: Just picturing or naming a Web site generates little interest. People want to know why. Adding a brief explanation is enough. Such as: "for more promotions check out", or "for more information on.... go to the website.
  • Offer variety: It helps tremendously to offer different actions. Small and large. That way people can choose something that suits them.


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Dori van Rosmalen
Dori van Rosmalen