BLUE WATER PROJECT by CloudRaker for RBC

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BLUE WATER PROJECT

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Industry Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Canada
Agency CloudRaker
Production Eye Steel Film
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Environmental PR
Advertiser: ROYAL BANK OF CANADA
Product/Service: FRESHWATER SUSTAINABILITY
Strategy + Creative: (CloudRaker)
Film Production: (Eye Steel Film)
Media placement: Community Events + Local Press For RBC Blue Water Day - Varied Community News Outlets - 11 June 2010
Media placement: Online Video Channel - YouTube Channel - 11 June 2010
Media placement: Social Media - Facebook + Twitter - 11 June 2010
Media placement: Employee Adopt A Program Campaign - Employee Newsletter And Intranet - 11 June 2010
Media placement: Facebook Campaign RBC Blue Water Facebook Challenge - Facebook Viral Push - 1 July 2010

Summary of the Campaign
In 2007, Royal Bank of Canada decided to launch its most ambitious philanthropic investment in history: the RBC Blue Water Project, a $50 million commitment to the protection of freshwater through grants to water organizations around the globe.

In 2010, RBC still had low brand recognition for its commitment to water among employees, clients, and with the general public.

Objective: Raise awareness of the RBC Blue Water Project and its global commitment to freshwater preservation.

We chose a communication campaign that respected the core message of the project itself: sustainability.
We transformed the production budget normally allocated to make TV commercials into the creation of short documentaries showcasing the work of 3 key grant recipients. These stories were promoted through social media strategies and the material was given back to water causes for their own self-promotion.

To complement these initiatives, we hosted the first RBC Blue Water Day to help bring attention to the work being done through the RBC Blue Water Project on the local level.

In 8-months, RBC positioned itself as the environmental leader in Canadian Banking.

The Situation
In 2007, Royal Bank of Canada chose to take a leadership role in advancing the cause of freshwater sustainability. RBC decided to launch its most ambitious philanthropic investment in history: the RBC Blue Water Project, a $50 million commitment to the protection of freshwater through grants to water organizations around the globe.

After 2.5 years, RBC had pledged over $20 million in grants to over 200 water projects but had very low brand recognition for its commitment to water preservation. What’s more, the bank’s 80,000 employees were generally unaware of the RBC Blue Water Project.

The Goal
- Raise awareness of RBC Blue Water Project and its commitment to a healthy and sustainable future by donating to charitable organizations who are trying to preserve, protect and provide fresh water globally.

- Raise awareness of the various grant recipients to date who are benefitting from the RBC Blue Water Project.

- Help engage and encourage pride among RBC employees.

The Strategy
This campaign had to go above and beyond a brand message: we wanted to educate, inspire and enable change by introducing audiences to those who are working tirelessly to protect water.

Our goal was to create a communication campaign that respected the core message of the project itself: sustainability.

Therefore, we used the production budget normally allocated to produce TV commercials and instead decided to create stories and content about some of the key grant recipients. These documentaries and all the behind the scenes material would then be leveraged for a full online/offline PR and social media campaign. In addition, we would provide all the footage back to the very organizations we featured for them to use for their own self-promotion.

The bottom line was that we created an innovative content-rich campaign that creates value for the grant recipients and has long-term shelf-life for RBC.

Execution
Year-one we converted the TV ad production budget into the creation of 3 short documentaries highlighting the work of grant recipients: Free The Children, Tides Canada, and National Geographic. We also created a movie trailer for a feature documentary film (launch 2012), exclusive interviews, making-of movie clips, and a photo gallery.

All these materials were used to feed our social media platforms set-up to build advocacy for the water cause. A branded YouTube channel, watchthefilm.org, was created to host the short documentary films. We also launched two programs: the RBC Blue Water Facebook Challenge and an employee Adopt a Program campaign - as employees are key players in helping spread the message.

To complement these initiatives, we hosted the first RBC Blue Water Day (June 11, 2010) to give local bank branches and employees an opportunity to celebrate the grant recipients in their own communities.  

Documented Results
In 8-months, RBC positioned itself as the environmental leader in Canadian Banking: we’ve received over 160,000 channel views on its YouTube Channel (placing it in 20th position in terms of subscriptions), built an engaged Facebook community of 20,000 fans with a conversation rate of about 20 comments per post, generated over 150 articles in offline/online publications and blogs.

Post-campaign brand research found an important lift in environmental attributes for RBC across all targets, and also employee pride scores improved as a direct response to their increased awareness of the RBC Blue Water Project.