Campaigns

Creative Campaigns #16 – Reuse That (Primark) Bag!

Already a cut above others with their sustainable carrier bag options, where most high street retailers still only offer a plastic option for 5-10p a pop, Primark has been using its classic brown paper bag since 2002. This year, they go that bit further on the sustainability charter by focusing on not only presenting an environmentally friendly bag, but also by encouraging customers to reuse it instead of traditional Christmas paper, which has come under fire in recent years for being really unethical. Did you know that it’s estimated that 227,000 miles of paper is binned every year?

I hear a lot of talk about making your Christmas more sustainable. Most of the advice tends to include opting for more eco-friendly wrapping solutions – recycled brown packaging paper often coming out on top. What I haven’t seen, though, is brands providing an alternative to wrapping paper for their customers and mass marketing it.

That was, until this year when Primark (in the US, unclear if this is coming to the UK too) took centre stage for its innovative and clever solution to the Christmas waste problem.

Here’s the bag…

…And here’s why I love it.

Encourages more shopping

As if we need any more excuse to shop at Primark over the festive period, because this bag is new and novel, it’s more likely that people will want it. This could be the decision maker for shoppers deciding between putting something back on the rails, or in to their baskets. Not everybody will relate, but I know there’ll be people out there who’ll purposely purchase more to get their hands on more of these bags. For as long as something’s new and original, there’ll be people who’ll go to extra lengths to get their hands on it. You need look no further than the mass queues and brawls to secure a limited edition Kevin The Carrot plush last year to prove that.

Great CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

It’s 2020 and if brands aren’t making more environmentally friendly choices, then they ought to be. Having a great brand image is just as important as investing in upfront advertising. This is why having a good PR strategy is important. If you’re an ethical brand with great values, many people will resonate and interact with you. Primark opting to help save the planet with this quirky and original idea will bode really well with those trying to make more sustainable choices. In a survey carried out a couple of years ago, 19% of 18-29 year olds and 15% of 30-49 year olds on the U.S (where Primark have launched their bags) said they’d pay more for a product if it was eco-friendly – showing there’s a clear appetite amongst consumers for these kinds of choices.

Branding & WOM marketing

Something really important with any campaign that involves a product, is including your branding where you can. Luckily, Primark have that in the bag (pardon the pun) with their logo loud and clear on the packaging. And even when the brand is covered or cut away, there’s an element of word of mouth marketing that comes into play here. All it takes is the question: “where did you get your wrapping paper?” to spark up brand-related conversations in American households this Christmas. WOM marketing continues to be the most influential, making ‘talk-ability factor’ really important in any campaign. 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising.

Personally, I’d love to see this rolled out in the UK. Of course, a lot depends on whether non-essential retailers will be permitted to open before Christmas. But if they are, I can’t find many faults with this novel and moral move by Primark. A lot of companies can learn from this fantastic CSR move.

Let me know your thoughts on Twitter, or in the comments below.

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