Forty years ago on Earth Day 1971 Keep America Beautiful partnered with the Ad Council to create a campaign dramatizing how pollution was hurting the environment, and that every person had the responsibility to protect it. A PSA featuring Native American actor Chief Iron Eyes Cody aired with the tagline line, “People Start Pollution. People can stop it.” Iron Eyes Cody became forever known as “The Crying Indian.” The PSA won two Clio awards and the campaign was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th Century by Ad Age Magazine.
During the height of the campaign, Keep America Beautiful received more than 2,000 letters a month from people wanting to join the local team. Keep America Beautiful local teams helped to reduce litter by as much as 88% in 300 communities, 38 states, and several countries.
If we were to launch this same campaign today what kind of PR and digital media integration would we build around it?
My first thought is a social media release with facts, pictures and resources. We could us PitchEngine. What about a microsite with tips and links to local chapters with a blog to update information? Maybe something like the TOMS Shoes blog. I would also consider a “What makes you cry?” promotion and invite user generated videos of people submitting their own 30 second versions of the pollution in their neighborhoods. Think something like the Pepsi Crash the Superbowl contest.
What else would you do?