Twice a year, Ukrainians are immersed in a smoke. The seasonal practice of burning leaves, branches and weeds results in a real environmental disaster. Fires have been known to destroy hundreds of hectares of forests, fields and even houses.
Isobar Ukraine and Amplifi Ukraine, together with the Center for Innovation Development and the UNDP, launched "We Breathe It In". The campaign focuses on the negative health and environmental effects caused by fire smoke, and places children at the forefront to remind audiences who they are harming when they choose to burn weeds.
"We are convinced that the global problem needs to be solved globally. So we researched our fire-raisers' audience and figured out how to reach them. We talk to the older generation through social videos and educational stories on their favorite TV channels of the Inter Media Group and Media Group Ukraine. We will attract middle-aged audiences via numerous digital resources (Google, Facebook), as well as a number of local leaders such as Gismeteo, Megogo, Admixer, Starlight Digital and others. As for the youth, we want to "turn them into Agents of Changes”. According to Gradus statistics, 20% of people stopped burning weeds due to the request of their children and grandchildren."
- Julia Karpushina, CEO Amplifi Ukraine, the Project initiator
The project is implemented through emotional messaging, directed at each segment of the target audience. They are mainly farmers of an older generation, as well as their children and grandchildren, who are able to positively influence their grandparents and other relatives.
"The creative idea of the project was inspired by the statement "Grandchildren are sacred". Our grandchildren's future motivates the older generation more than their own well-being. Our team, together with the Cashmere Films Production, have created a series of videos where children are the main characters. Playing on smoky playgrounds, they persuade their grandparents not to burn leaves and weeds, but to use an alternative way — composting. Our aim is not to intimidate Ukrainians, but to give them a winning alternative. "
- Anna Zhukovskaya, CEO Isobar Ukraine
The campaign reaches out to an older generation through educational advertisements on their favourite TV and radio channels. Digital is also utilised to reach a younger demographic, including middle-aged audiences, via numerous numerous digital resources (Google, Facebook), as well as a number of local leaders such as Gismeteo, Megogo and Admixer. As for the youth, one aim of this campaign is to turn them into "agents of change". According to Gradus statistics*, 20% of people stopped burning weeds at the request of their children and grandchildren, so it is clear that their support is vital in changing opinions.
This initiative also aims to further educate people on how to compost correctly through the creation of simple instructional leaflets, which will be distributed among about 100 active communities in Ukraine.
"We Breathe It In" provides Ukrainians with awareness of the problem, as well as insight into a safer, greener alternative for all. The campaign gained media attention across Ukraine, but also reached 41 village communities thanks to the educational outreach behind the work. This has resulted in a 9% increase in the number of Ukrainians who are aware of alternative methods of disposing of vegetation, such as individual and collective composting.
Action is also being taken as a result of the campaign. 42% of "burners" stopped burning vegetation, thanks to the influence of the campaign, and individual compost usage has grown by 8 times.
The campaign is supported by the project partners: Inter Media Group, Media Group Ukraine, as well as the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the research company Gradus and local and global digital resources.
*According to a study within the project "We breathe it in" which was conducted by the analytical company Gradus and initiated by Amplifi Ukraine and Isobar Ukraine. More than 1,200 participants of the online panel Gradus, aged 14-65 living in villages and towns, were surveyed.