In the lead up to the 2023 Ad Net Zero Awards, AdGreen will be sharing Q&As from the finalists of the Best Practice in Sustainable Ad Production category.

This time we are hearing from AMV BBDO, who have been shortlisted for their work on ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People’ for Bupa.

Get Set Hire van running on Green D+ to reduce advertising production carbon emissions

1. At what stage in the production process did environmental sustainability become part of the conversation?

Very early on. We knew at pitch stage this was a sustainability brief, and we knew we were up against specialist sustainability agencies, so we needed to bring our best thinking, insights, creativity, and production solutions.

2. Can you share any examples of decisions you made to reduce the carbon footprint of the production?

We initially explored more traditional scoping such as flying a director and small production team to locations, or even a remote-production solution where local DOPs/crews/talent would be led by a London-based director via remote production technology. But both still had major cost and carbon implications.

Finally we settled on virtual production to solve the headaches of minimising environmental impact, and feasibility, whilst maintaining creative excellence.

3. Did you learn anything useful about sustainable production on this shoot, that you will carry forward to other campaigns?

Lots!  We learned that:

  • Even if new technologies or production methodologies are unfamiliar, embracing them and being brave can yield exciting results
  • That virtual production is a very flexible tool to add to the creative mix, and can still be augmented with classic filmmaking experience, great production design, and even stock assets
  • That VP can be used for brand work not just functional lower-funnel assets
  • That in 2023 we all need to do better and go beyond green transport or vegan catering alone
  • That being honest about where your experience starts/stops, and bringing patient clients on a journey is a must

These learnings have been very useful in discussing with other clients in other sectors how we achieved the results, and how we can apply similar methodology to their challenges.

4. How did AdGreen’s training, calculator or resources support your reduction efforts?

Using the AdGreen calculator really helped to quantify and demonstrate the sustainable efforts across the project. We even ran a calculator simulation of our footprint had we produced in a less sustainable way.  The results were shocking and allowed us to share the contrast to stakeholders (95% more carbon efficient).

5. Did any of the decisions made to reduce the carbon emissions of your production affect the creative delivery of your ad?

Being OLV and social, the delivery was reasonably standard as a final output. But we agreed with clients through the process that the methodology of sustainable production was almost as key to communicate as the advert’s message itself (Bupa’s global sustainability launch).  That meant that with clients we created a behind-the-scenes film for internal stakeholders, held an internal launch, and even published/discussed the methods and carbon footprint everywhere from industry press to podcasts. Alongside our clients and virtual production partners Quite Brilliant, we were proud to win the ‘best us of virtual production’ at the APA’s Future of Advertising Awards in April 2023.

PROPOSED FOOTPRINT

using traditional production methods

ACTUAL FOOTPRINT

based on the final production

The AdGreen carbon calculator does not measure emissions resulting from file storage.

Find out more from each of the companies that worked on this production:

Agency: https://www.amvbbdo.com/

Production partners: https://www.quitebrilliant.co.uk/

Brand: https://www.bupa.com/sustainability/sustainability-strategy