EcoChallenge - One Message with Many Voices
How an innovative marketing approach is producing astounding results!
Successful partnerships are an essential part of any organizations' community involvement efforts. OC Waste & Recycling has taken a step forward with an uncommon approach for government - a marketing strategy based on partnerships. OC Waste & Recycling is cultivating relationships with the private sector, nonprofits and sports organizations to reach new milestones and accomplish more for Orange County residents.
OC Waste & Recycling is developing partnerships to further "win-win" marketing approaches to promote a set of exhibits known as the EcoChallenge. OC Waste & Recycling is partnering with the Discovery Science Center (DSC) to reach hundreds of thousands of Orange County residents with waste reduction messages in the EcoChallenge, which combines elements of OC Waste & Recycling's mission with the Discovery Science Center's ability to merge learning with fun. The exhibits feature the EcoCrew, six animated characters that embody the diversity of their young audience who make an engaging, clear and passionate connection to what all of us can do to "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle." The EcoChallenge exhibits have become the foundation of OC Waste & Recycling's public outreach messages and will continue to educate children for approximately ten (10) years. This partnership enables the County to promote OC Waste & Recycling's mission, "To provide waste management services, protect the environment, and promote recycling in order to ensure a safe and healthy community for current and future generations."
Since increased attendance at the EcoChallenge benefits both OC Waste & Recycling and the Discovery Science Center, DSC shares the County's goals and expectations. DSC has demonstrated their commitment to this partnership, contributing media, marketing, and professional services valued at $813,000 on an annual basis. This contribution also includes the experience needed to maximize all media opportunities including film shoots, bus wraps, print ads, promotional materials and local cross promotions developed to sustain the EcoChallenge marketing campaign. The marketing goals are designed to:
- Drive target audiences to the DSC for a hands-on, interactive experience with the EcoChallenge exhibits
- Reinforce the EcoChallenge brand
- Develop meaningful ways to measure outcomes and track outputs.
OC Waste & Recycling is entering our second year of partnership with the 2002 World Champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to promote the EcoChallenge. The Angels are the only major league baseball team located in Orange County and have an average annual attendance of 3.1 million. EcoChallenge messaging will be present in the stadium, appearing at different times during games on the jumbotron, the electronic "half-halo," and the display board at right field. Orange County families attending the baseball games (approximately 39,000 Orange County residents per game) will have the opportunity to discuss the EcoChallenge exhibits at a booth staffed by OC Waste & Recycling employees. Contests and player appearances may also enhance attendance at collection events and at the EcoChallenge. In addition, this partnership will broadcast the EcoChallenge messaging on the Angels Jumbotron, which will reach up to 238,000 viewers per day as they drive on the 57 Freeway.
Another exciting partnership development has been established between OC Waste & Recycling with the Anaheim Arena Management, which represents the Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks. The Honda Center, Billboard Magazine's #4-ranked concert venue in the U.S., is home to 140+ events and top-touring concerts each year. The Anaheim Ducks were recently recognized as a Top 10 Trusted Brand in Orange County and are consistently recognized as philanthropic leaders in the community. This partnership represents the next step in outreach to Orange County families to take the EcoChallenge and reduce, reuse and recycle. EcoChallenge messages will be broadcast at games using full screen advertising, and video wall concepts combining live game action with advertising. Approximately 13,000 Orange County residents per event will have the opportunity to view the prominently displayed EcoChallenge booth, interact with OC Waste & Recycling staff members, and collect information regarding waste reduction programs.
The $3.6 million EcoChallenge brand is a commodity and has value beyond OC Waste & Recycling's EcoChallenge exhibits. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is taking the opportunity to incorporate the EcoChallenge brand into their marketing approach, and has partnered with OC Waste & Recycling to expand the "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" message to include the word "Ride." Free "ride" coupons will allow travelers to visit the Discovery Science Center to take the EcoChallenge. Feedback from community members indicated that transportation might be lacking for some who wished to visit DSC, which resulted in this partnership. Those who ride public transportation also benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions. The County is spending less by leveraging existing media opportunities to reach families throughout Orange County.
These successful partnerships are expanding OC Waste & Recycling's marketing approach to send positive environmental messages from the EcoChallenge into the Orange County community. Leveraging partnerships and professional expertise has increased the reach of the EcoChallenge messages, added new and different audiences, and has built up the EcoChallenge brand identity without increasing costs. Many opportunities still lie ahead and, through the development and ingenuity of staff coupled with prudent business strategies, OC Waste & Recycling's EcoChallenge will continue to develop stronger, sustainable public education and outreach programs.