How O2 created the greenest audio campaign ever

Telco brands are starting to make moves towards sustainability, but O2 is leading the charge with its commitment to become the UK’s first net-zero mobile network operator by 2025. With these ambitions in mind, O2 set out to find the greenest form of advertising to deliver their sustainability messages. That’s where Spotify’s Sustainable Sonics came into play.

The brief

Raise awareness of O2’s commitment to becoming the UK’s first net-zero mobile network by 2025, way ahead of their competitors.

The big idea

Sustainable Sonics: a first-of-its-kind sustainable audio programme that uses carbon offsets to zero out the environmental impact of all of O2’s audio advertising on Spotify for one year.

Including a 30” audio spot to introduce the sustainable partnership and promote O2’s sustainability credentials. While audio is a greener alternative to traditional advertising1, it still produces a sizeable carbon footprint. Sustainable Sonics set to change this.

Making it happen

With the launch of the ‘O2 vs CO2’ initiative already underway, the decision was easy - we joined forces with O2 and launched the first Sustainable Sonics partnership on Earth Day.

Working with Forest Carbon, we purchased carbon offsets on all of O2’s advertising for the following 12 months2 and produced an audio ad to raise awareness of the partnership, as well as a series of three audio pods to share O2’s sustainability story far and wide.

Hear one of the spots for yourself.

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The impact

All four creative themes drove a significant increase in recall and association for O2 as environmentally conscious and a leader in sustainability, including the Spotify-specific creative to call out the carbon-neutral efforts of the audio content on the platform.

The campaign successfully shifted Recall, Message Association and Attribute Rating across Gen-Z, Millennials, Families, Green Living Enthusiasts and those with a household income of £50k+ but most importantly it significantly increased the perception of O2 as environmentally conscious and a leader in sustainability against its key competitor set as well as providers not listed in the questionnaire.

  • 34pp

    Ad Recall

    34 percentage point increase in recall of O2 Sustainable Sonics ads on Spotify compared to control
  • 20 pp

    Message Association

    20 percentage point increase in agreement that O2 is “environmentally-conscious” compared to control

This is the sort of media differentiator, that I as an advertiser, seek out

Johnny Winn

Lead Brand & Marketing Communications, O2

  • 10pp

    10 percentage point increase in agreement that O2 is a leader in sustainability

  • 1,500

    Tress planted around the world

  • 160

    Tonnes of carbon off-set immediately upon trees planted

  • 320

    Tonnes of carbon off-set in the future as trees grow

The media mix

Industry category: Telecommunications
Objective: Brand perception
Audience: Ages: 18-35s, 35+/Gen Zs and Millennials Family, Green Living Enthusiasts and Salary +£50k
Targeting: Age, Device, Genre, Interest/Behaviour Format: Audio Everywhere, Display Overlay
Flight: 22nd April, 2021 - 31st May, 2021

Want to find out more about how to promote your brand through responsible advertising on Spotify?

Find out more about Sustainable Sonics here.

  1. The total annual production of audio ads on Spotify emit approximately 100 tonnes of C02. In contrast, in the US alone, digital OOH billboards emit 37M tonnes of C02 annually. Source: Digital Distribution: Illuminating the Issues - Digital Signage and Philadelphia's Green Future - Gregory Yount, Public Voice for Public Space
  2. Calculation based on: Total number of audio spots brand ran on Spotify last year x 62 (62 kg is the average amount of carbon footprint on a single audio ad) = amount of KG of carbon we must offset for one year of their brand’s advertising

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