Case Study: LWARB

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Bright colourful plastic waste

Case study

Interactive ‘doing’ outperforms video-viewing to get London recycling – with a social media tool that can be tailored for any local council

The LWARB (London Waste and Recycling Board) works with London councils to improve their management of waste and has had great success, with savings across the capital’s waste authorities of more than £11 million a year over five years.

An important aspect of the organisation’s work is to encourage behaviour change through media campaigns like the food waste initiative, ‘Small Change Big Difference’ (read our case study on the Lambeth Council version, which shared tips on making meals out of things that might have ended up in the bin).

Another barrier to reducing waste LWARB identified is residents being unsure what can and can’t be recycled (“Plastic bottle? Yes, of course. The screw top on the bottle? Not sure.”) and, also, how and where to recycle different items.

Promoting short explanatory videos had worked OK before for LWARB behaviour change messages. Indeed, Lambeth used videos placed on social media for ‘Small Change Big Difference’, and LWARB used video in its 2017 ‘One Bin is Rubbish’ campaign to suggest creative ways to manage home recycling so it doesn’t become a nuisance.

But we suggested trying something different that involved engaging brains over passive viewing.

Doing versus viewing

Enter the new Facebook Instant Experience format and four London boroughs – Camden, Brent, Haringey and Southwark – willing to test if their residents are top of the capital when it comes to recycling know-how.                                   

Instant Experiences is a digital advert, optimised for mobile devices, through which various types of media can be used to grab and hold the attention of an audience on the social media platform.

As the LWARB campaign sought to give residents recycling information they would retain, an interactive experience was created for the new tool which encouraged people to scroll down and across different screens and reveal answers to questions about their borough’s recycling set-up. This YouTube video shows how it works.

And the winner is… the war on waste

Over the two-week campaign, more than 4.5 million views were delivered on Facebook and Instagram to residents of the four London boroughs involved. A huge 37,290 interactions were recorded, with an overall interaction rate of 0.8% – for comparison, the display average across more than 150 council campaigns run on Facebook is 0.61%.

Even more interestingly, the Instant Experience format outperformed Facebook video in terms of interaction and value for money, when compared to the LWARB ‘One Bin is Rubbish’ video-based campaign mentioned earlier.

Some 53% of the audience viewed the interactive ad compared to 28% of the audience who viewed video. The click-through rates were 0.53% for interactive compared to 0.22% for video. And the average time spent on the recycling Instant Experience was a whole 30 seconds compared to just 11 seconds viewing on the video campaign.

This means that the cost per view for an Instant Experience campaign came in at five times less than for a video campaign – so the client gets considerably more views for their buck, and recycling rates are hopefully boosted as a result.

Want to see how your residents interact with Instant Experience?

Local councils can now license the creative used so successfully in this recycling campaign – tailored to their own recycling policy. Contact CAN and we’ll get back to you with full details.

You can find out more about how we help local councils reach the right people with their campaigns here.