Change For Nature: Burt's Bees and National Geographic
Burt’s Bees wanted to modernize its brand, a skincare and cosmetics company that appealed to consumers with its all-natural formulas. To this end, the company chose to drive home to consumers its core belief that a “future without nature is no future at all.”
Burt’s Bees sought to generate 10,000 consumer pledges to “change for nature,” each of which would trigger a $10 donation to its partner in this endeavor, The National Geographic Society.
The company undertook a multi-pronged campaign, which included a disruptive social stunt, #NatureBlackout, which coincided with the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit. Burt’s Bees, the National Geographic Society, and youth environmental activists and photographers posted blackout graphics on their social media feed to dramatize a future without nature and to encourage viewers to take action to save the environment.
Simultaneously, Burt’s Bees initiated a micro-website that encouraged visitors to pledge to #ChangeForNatureToday—giving them a choice of five pledges, including such things as carry reusable, eat more plants, cut food waste, etc. The site urged them to adopt a new behavior for 66 days, the length of time necessary to turn it into a habit. With help from social impact company Public Good, Burt’s Bees was also able to place these suggested actions in front of people who were reading environmental stories on social media via such sites as Discovery Network and Science Daily.
Burt’s Bees also created a social media campaign that used influencers to provide tips on sustainable living. Celebrity Alisha Boe drove additional media coverage while expanding awareness.
Finally, Burt’s Bees hosted an event showcasing information on the environment and expected negative consequences, along with information about how to change the course of our planet’s health.
The program was a success for both the business and its nonprofit partner. Consumer engagement with the product rose by 6.4 percent. It also resulted in increased time spent interacting with the brand online (from 1.30 minutes to 4-plus minutes), and persuaded more customers to opt-in for continued communication (8,800 new email addresses were collected.)
Initially, program creators hoped to received 10,000 pledges of new behavior, each generating a $10 donation to the National Geographic Society. Instead, they received 17,333, resulting in a $150,000 donation to the society.