Being only a Hercules flight away from Antarctica, New Zealanders are acutely aware of our remoteness to the majority of big players around the globe. This has never inhibited our desire or potential to achieve impact on the world stage.
In partnership with WWF and UN Environment, the short-form division of Natural History NZ (NHNZ), WiLD Studios created Extraordinary. The mission? To get the world’s brands inspired and engaged in making sustainability so desirable and mainstream in their brand communications, that global consumers prioritise it as a key purchase consideration. This includes empowering purpose-led brands to publically celebrate their sustainability journey, rather than remaining silent for the next decade while they adapt supply chains to SDG standards. Once the big brands change, then the rest of the world’s brands will follow.
If you are wondering why NHNZ and WiLD Studios took on this challenge, the answer is simple. As wildlife filmmakers, we have a responsibility to help protect and preserve the beauty of planet earth which gives us endless stories to tell.
Film has a very real and transformative effect on people. It has the power – perhaps beyond that of any other medium – to shed light on an issue, tell stories and chronicle history. We are committed to using our skills as wildlife storytellers to help create a more sustainable future for the world, as well as documenting the progression.
Extraordinary Awards are the first major initiative to come out of Extraordinary. This is an award competition for creative and marketing industries; the specialists in shifting consumer behaviour, framing lifestyles, creating trends and influencing choices.
If the UN Sustainable Development Goals are to be met, global consumers need to be on-board. For this to happen, brand and creative industries need to start messaging the sustainability agenda of brands. All brands supporting a sustainability agenda need to take consumers on the journey with them.
We know messaging sustainability isn’t particularly sexy and comes with its share of potential landmines. This probably explains the inevitable documentary-style content running in parallel to sexy brand messaging. However, this separation entrenches the lack of desirability around sustainability.
Hence the need for the Extraordinary Awards. We wanted to inspire the connection of brand flair and sustainability substance; in a way that garners the attention of the global advertising community. Watch this space.
WHAT WE DO
Support and enable the development of practical strategies for brands and their creative agencies to raise the profile of sustainability in mainstream communications. Build high awareness of the strategies and best practices, through high profile platforms, advocacy and initiatives.
Promote, inspire and support the development of best practices for branded communications that make sustainability so sexy for consumers that it becomes a key purchase consideration.
Inspire strong emotional and physical connections between consumers and brands on a sustainability journey; using the powerful influence of creative storytelling. Thereby supporting the world in achieving goals for a more sustainable future
Experts estimate that only 1% of the materials used to produce our consumer goods are still in use six months after sale. The value of craftsmanship and provenance is facing a losing battle. Price and speed are trumping care for humanity, environment and wildlife.
Technically, the tide is turning. Increasing awareness around biodiversity, sustainability and inhumane issues has led to a substantial rise in conscious consumption, where purchase decisions are based on leaving no negative mark on the world. A widespread study from YouGov UK and the Global Poverty Project revealed that 74% of British consumers would pay a premium for clothes with a guarantee workers are paid fairly and working in safe conditions; a Deloitte study, showed 64% of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are willing to stop buying a company’s products if they heard about them being irresponsible or unethical; and a Mintel study revealed that 56% of US consumers stop buying from companies they believe are unethical, and over 35% stop buying from brands they perceive as unethical even if there is no substitute available.
However, there’s a huge disconnect between the ethical values people express and their ‘walk the talk’ actions. Either people don’t understand enough or don’t care enough to follow through. This needs to be urgently addressed. Once consumers start sending a message of tsunami proportions that they no longer tolerate or support products/brands which are NOT made with respect, corporates will quickly become highly motivated to shift to more sustainable and respectful practices.
It’s clear that momentum around sustainability has started across the globe and that the conscious consumer has started to rise. However, marketers and communicators do continue to struggle. This space is new to them and many do not see the importance or benefits to their overall brand. By helping consumers understand and care, we will show that sustainability is a competitive advantage, and brands should raise the profile of their brand messaging hierarchy. Ultimately, this only works if global consumers understand the issues and realise that every single one of their purchases is either helping to solve or accentuate the biodiversity problems.