Pakistan recently hosted the World Environment Day Conference – an initiative by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) - held at the Islamabad Convention Centre to discuss the next steps in Green Financing. Green Financing is an innovative strategy to foster economic development through environmental conservation and restoration.
The ‘Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project’ and the recent announcement regarding Green Bonds have demonstrated Pakistan’s readiness to lead the way in ecosystem restoration. The Tsunami project, supported by UNEP, aims to plant 10 billion trees by 2023, while the Green Bonds will help the Government raise funds gradually for a sustainable future. Amin Aslam, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change confirmed that the Green Bonds, priced at $500 million will be launched by WAPDA soon.
To build momentum around the Conference, the Government joined hands with BBDO Pakistan to release a communication campaign based on the theme of ‘Money Grows on Trees’ which plays on the old subcontinental saying: ‘paisay darakhton par nahi ugtay’.
According to Atiya Zaidi, Managing Director, BBDO, “as soon as they mentioned Green Bonds, we immediately landed on the local insight paisay darakhton par nahi ugtay. We say this to our children [to stop them from overspending], but this time it was just that - we are making money through the environment.” The ad shows a tree in the shape of a dollar bill, delivering the idea that you can now make money by planting trees. According to Zaidi, the goal was to make it newsworthy given the short period given to work on this campaign. “The brief was to raise awareness not only of Pakistan’s achievements in planting trees and green financing but to invite the nation to join the project,” says Ali Rez, Regional Executive Creative Director, Impact BBDO.
Given that the UN’s ‘The Decade of the Environment’ is a worldwide event, the target audience goes beyond Pakistan. As Zaidi explains, “the target audience is manifold. It is to create awareness within Pakistan that the environment is linked to the economy and provide comfort to citizens that their government has this on its agenda, but it is equally relevant to a global audience. With delegations coming in from Tajikistan and other countries to attend the Conference, the campaign targets a much wider audience.”
The brief given to BBDO was not to make the campaign political and focus on the environmental impact of these initiatives instead. BBDO have also worked on the ‘Billion Trees’ campaign, which is aimed at reviving forest and wildlife resources in Pakistan and says Zaidi, “the same thing happened for the Billion Trees Campaign. Ali Rez and Hira Mohibullah came up with the idea overnight to show 10 billion visually and turn the zeroes into seeds at different stages of the plantation process.”
BBDO have previously worked on a number of socially responsible campaigns, including the reversible plastic bottle machine project initiated by PepsiCo as well as the Dettol #YehWatanHamaraHai campaign (under the Hoga Saaf Pakistan initiative) that aims to create awareness and trigger action around the issue of littering. To this, Rez adds that the team at BBDO is excited about “several exciting initiatives on the table that we plan to reveal soon. BBDO is proud to be collaborating with the Ministry of Climate Change on their communication. For an agency that puts a lot of value on purposeful work, contributing to the betterment of our planet is an important task.
Taniya Hasan is a content marketer.