Makro Cash & Carry Belgium, part of Metro Cash & Carry, used a synthetic voice created by Acapela, for a big environmental awareness campaign, orchestrated by LBi, an international interactive marketing and technology agency.
From 1st July to 31st August 2009, Makro launched an innovative green initiative, unique in large-scale retailing, a sector which traditionally uses a large quantity of paper to print brochures.
'We have been working with Makro Belgium since the creation of their website in 2003. With the campaign ‘Save the Forest ‘, we aimed to encourage clients to switch completely to using on-line tools. We suggested to Makro that they should capitalise on the lovable, well-known owl from the children’s TV programme 'Petit écho de la forêt', to create a viral, talking campaign which was also broadcast in-store' explained Nathalie Dumont, consultant at LBi.
It's therefore Mr Owl, spokesperson at Makro for this project, who invited clients to 'Save the Forest' and spread the word. A playful, talkative card which passed on Makro’s environmental message was sent to all clients. Mr Owl spoke directly to the clients inviting them to support the initiative by signing-up and suggested that they spread the idea by sending the card on to their contacts – the card could be made extra special by adding a personal message. Thanks to Acapela's speech synthesis all this was read to the recipient in a clear and distinct voice which immediately caught the attention and created an impression, guaranteeing Makro's message was listened to.
In this way, each Makro client was invited to choose between the paper or on-line editions. As an incentive, in addition to the reduced consumption of paper, Makro undertook to plant one tree for every 5 people choosing the on-line version.
The campaign took place between 1st July and 31st August. 94% signed-up on line and 6% via Makro shops. Nearly 171,000 individual's visited http://www.sauvezlaforet.be and http://www.redhetbos.be and 6522 personalised messages from Mr Owl were sent throughout the summer.
A total of 30 000 registrations were recorded, meaning 6000 trees will be planted across Belgium. This first campaign will enable a saving of 177 tonnes of paper.
'The very good impact of this campaign, which was entertaining and at the same time conveyed an important message, reinforces our commitment to our environmental initiative. Many clients already had the habit of consulting catalogues on-line and had asked us to stop sending the paper editions. Mr Owl was an excellent spokesperson. His characteristics – viral, talkative and capable of personalisation - have no doubt contributed to making our message heard, in the full sense of the word, in a very effective and memorable way. For Makro it’s the first step in this project which aims to increasingly reduce the amount of paper consumed and the signing-up of more than 30 000 clients is definitely encouraging us to continue this way' said Vincent Nolf, Customer Management Director at Makro Belgium.
About Metro Cash & Carry
Metro Cash&Carry is a division of the Metro Group.Based in Düsseldorf, Metro AG is a retail group, which specialises in wholesale trade to professionals. It is present in 31 countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa, including nearly 2200 sales outlets. The group has more than 280 000 employees coming from more than 150 countries.
LBi Belgium, created from the merger of DAD, Winsome and OX2, is the largest European web agency in Belgium. LBi has been active on the Belgian market since 1995 and is a recognised expert in interactive marketing and digital technologies. LBi operates in Belgium through its offices in Brussels and Ghent. It is part of the LBi Group which includes nearly 1,600 employees throughout the world. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, LBi develops innovative multi-channel solutions, for domestic and international clients. http://www.lbi.com
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