Putting the eco in ecommerce: 7 creative environmental ads

Putting the eco in ecommerce: 7 creative environmental ads

Presumably, your brand wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t feel that your work was making a positive difference. But if you are looking to set out how your brand is helping to protect the only planet we have ever called home – Earth – there is an additional sense of enormity attached to this crucial work and the associated messaging.

Advertising that concerns pressing environmental issues has the ability to stop us in our tracks, move us, and make us think – even more so when it is well-executed.

So, where can your own ecommerce brand start when seeking inspiration for its advertising on these subjects? Below, we have picked out just seven particularly compelling and creative environmental ads from some of our favourite brands.

 

1. Chilly’s

Chilly's environmental ad
Image source: Chilly's


With its reusable water bottles and coffee cups, Chilly’s aims to help more of us embrace a lifestyle that doesn’t leave quite so many single-use plastics floating around our world – as its advert visually illustrates.

The advertising campaign shows people swapping out their usual coffee cups and plates for reusable Chilly’s products. It’s a fast-paced and engaging commercial featuring a diverse mix of people, which helps make it relatable to everyone. The message, too, is loud and clear, setting out that we don’t necessarily have to completely upend how we live in order to make a difference.

We also like how Chilly’s has optimised its video ad across its different social media channels, thereby helping to deliver a consistent visual aesthetic across all touchpoints.

 

2. Ecover

Ecover ads
Image source: Ecover


While not all brands developing creative environmental ads will necessarily have the luxury of being able to partner with a well-known face for their campaign, this effort from Ecover – which manufactures ecologically sound cleaning products – is a great example of how it can be done.

For its “Laundry Against Landfill” campaign, Ecover called upon rapper and household name Professor Green, who helped the brand to instantly connect with audiences with the message to “wash wisely, wear longer, and waste less”.

 

3. Oatly

Oatly environmental ad
Image source: Oatly

 

Many of us are familiar by now with the Swedish company Oatly, which has a track record of engaging audiences through less conventional means. It’s all to the end of converting people on Earth to non-dairy products – which in turn, is instrumental in decreasing methane emissions.

The brand’s advertisements always come from a place of humour, with family references helping to make their campaigns very relatable. Oatly’s quirky and unconventional forms of advertising to date have included the likes of wall murals, eye-catching benches in Los Angeles, and this lo-fi Super Bowl ad featuring its CEO, Toni Petersson, performing on a keyboard and singing, “wow, no cow”.

It should be no surprise, then, that the brand has become a point of reference for many ecommerce stores on the lookout for inspiration for their own creative environmental ads.


4. Reformation

Reformation ad
Image source: Reformation


“Shoes suck,” Reformation announces in its multi-ad shoe campaign, which sees the clothing brand dig deep into the facts and figures that make the footwear industry so wasteful. In a series of clips, a woman reels off statistics that might make you consider a barefoot future… Maybe. For example, did you know that ‘vegan leather’ was invented so that brands could position plastic as more sustainable? Yep – ick.

However, while Reformation is seemingly right in saying that shoes do in fact suck, they make the point of telling us that their shoes “suck less”. Pithy, punchy and impactful. They reveal that not only does their shoe collection use 75% less virgin plastic than conventional ones – as well bio-based and recycled alternatives wherever possible – but they also have a take-back program to recycle 100% of the shoes they make.


5. Dame

Dame environmental ad
Image source: Dame


Presenting a series of firsts from Dame: the first brand to launch a reusable tampon applicator, the first brand to show a tampon string three times in an ad, and the first ad, full-stop, for this B Corp certified brand. In their debut campaign, they’ve kept it short and snappy with a video that tells us that it’s time to “experience a new period”, featuring their collection of sustainable wellness essentials.

The applicator is just the start in their bid to stamp down on plastic waste; they also promote their reusable pads and reusable pants as “better for your body” and “better for our planet”. The message is succinct and straight to the point, while the fun and unfiltered footage is a breath of fresh air in contrast to those age-old ads featuring blue liquid poured on sanitary pads. (If you know, you know.)


6. Oddbox

Oddbox ad
Image source: Oddbox


Fighting food waste one crooked carrot at a time, Oddbox is selling all the wonky fruits and vegetables that farmers across the UK are struggling to get rid of. Turns out, supermarkets are picky about the shape, size and colour of the foods they sell, resulting in a surplus of unwanted carrots, apples, courgettes, and more that simply get thrown away. There’s nothing truly wrong with them – they taste the same and they’re packed with just as many nutrients – so Oddbox is boxing them up for you to purchase in small, medium or large crates. It’s currently only available in London and certain parts of South East England, which explains why tube and train stations across the capital are boasting these eye-catching poster ads.


7. Patagonia

Patagonia environmental adImage source: Patagonia

As B Corp certified activewear brand Patagonia tells us, the clothing industry contributes up to 10% of the pollution driving the climate crisis. Its ‘We’re All Screwed?’ ad may open with a somewhat bleak message, which seems to say it’s too late to make the world a better place, but by spinning their own words back to front, they remind us that there’s still more we can do. “Buy less, demand more” are the parting words; a reminder that we, as consumers, hold the power to change the future of fast fashion. By tapping through to their website, Patagonia then expands on its point, explaining: “Don’t wonder. Ensure your clothes are constructed mindfully and ethically. Support companies that care for their people and the planet. Hold brands accountable for what they produce and how they produce.”

One of the details that make this ad most impactful is that sustainability is put first. There’s no sales-focused message, no ‘shop now’ button – just an appeal on behalf of workers and the planet. Of course, the (correct) implication is that by purchasing Patagonia, you’re shopping more ethically on a brand with better practices and clothing that’s built to last.


Final thoughts 

 

Never before has there been such a strong spotlight on what companies are doing – or not doing, as the case may be – to achieve sustainability. This makes getting across your own brand’s environmental message a vital task if you are to help achieve a bright future – for your ecommerce store and by extension, the rest of us.

It is therefore crucial to ensure the messaging in your creative environmental ads is clear, to the point and relatable. You shouldn’t be afraid to be disruptive, but authentic, and fun, but not too flippant.

Above all, your environmentally focused advertising needs to show customers how they can get involved in your brand’s mission through the purchase of your products. Get in touch with the Underwaterpistol team today, and we will help show you what’s possible.


And don't forget to check out our free ad creative guide. We’ve packed it full with creative advice from our Art Director, Francesca Boyd, our Design Lead, Sara Azmy, and our Copywriter, Zara Kenyon.

We'll reveal the cost-efficient tricks and tactics that elevate your brand across every platform, so you can scale up your ROI and ROAS to achieve your best year yet. Download your copy here!

 

Blog