Choosing radio reduces a media campaign’s CO2 emissions


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Background information

Sustainability is a hugely significant topic that will define marketing in the years ahead. For consumers, the issue is highly important and brand commitments to sustainability are well received. In this week’s egtabite we showcase a B2B campaign from Germany that highlights radio as the medium generating the least amount of CO2. This was proven by the Green GRP model, which calculates the carbon footprint of a given ad campaign.

Radiozentrale (the German radio trade body) decided to spotlight radio’s climate-credentials in their new B2B campaign. Before taking a closer look at the campaign, it is first important to understand how radio was identified as having the lowest carbon footprint of all media.

Chart showing carbon emissions of ads in different media

The Green GRP

The Green GRP was initiated by the agency MediaPlus and developed with a range of partners in the German market. When planning a campaign, Mediaplus offers its clients the possibility to offset carbon emissions to make their advertising campaigns climate neutral.

The carbon footprint of a campaign is calculated through a unique methodology for each media type. The various aspects of a campaign that produce emissions are identified within production, transmission and device usage. The emissions per medium take into account factors such as the number of placements, the number of viewers/listeners, production-related emissions, electricity consumption data etc.  Based on the data, ClimatePartner calculates the CO2 footprint of the campaign and the cost of offsetting it. Clients that do offset their carbon footprint receive a climate-neutral certificate and can then use the “climate-neutral campaign“ label. ClimatePartner then initiates the offsetting through a climate protection project of the client’s choosing.

The Green GRP does not affect the composition of the media mix. The selection of campaign components is still based on the client’s objectives and focuses on the best possible ROI.

In order to encourage the industry, including competitors, to make use of the tool, MediaPlus ensured that the Green GRP initiative remains open and transparent and put the tool under the umbrella of the German central organisation for media agencies.

Diagram explaining how the green GRP works

Radio = the most climate-friendly medium

The Green GRP model identifies radio as the medium that generates the least amount of CO2 (only 1kg per 10,000 contacts). Radiozentrale decided to use this argument to launch a special B2B campaign highlighting radio as a climate-friendly medium and inviting clients to re-discover radio.

The campaign’s radio spots use the “theatre of the mind” to paint a picture of all of the carbon-intensive elements involved in filming a video advertisement. Complex scenarios are described in detail, for example, flying an advertiser’s car to Antarctica to film a drive on the ice or feeding hundreds of hungry crew members on the set of a big production. Each ad concludes with the words: “This advertisement came to life solely in your head. No one had to film it.” And a note: “Re-discover radio, in no other medium does your ad produce less CO2.

Listen to the spots in German here and English under the links below.