Coles commits to no more plastic collectibles in sustainable campaign

Coles has reaffirmed its commitment to becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, with a campaign commencing on Sunday 26 July via DDB Australia.

As part of its sustainability efforts, Coles has committed to no longer give away collectible plastic toys as part of its rewards program.

The national campaign is based on Coles’ ‘Together to Zero’ pillar in its sustainability strategy, which was first revealed in March, as well as the “Better Together” pillar.

The 60-second spot features a montage of Coles throughout history, showing the impact Coles has had across several generations. The spot ends in the line: “Together to zero: zero hunger, zero waste, and zero emissions. For generations to come.”

The campaign launches with the 60-second spot above, followed by a series of 30-second spots. The campaign will also be on digital and out-of-home.

Lisa Ronson, chief marketing officer at Coles, said: “As part of our ‘Together to Zero’ mission, we’ve been reviewing our marketing campaigns through a sustainability lens. While very popular, we must listen to our customers who say their priorities are changing.

“We are proud to be now using our marketing platforms to raise awareness of our sustainability ambition which is focussed on acting together now for generations of Australians ahead. We are on a journey and understand our responsibility to minimise our environmental footprint and to show leadership in protecting our planet and climate.”

Leif Stromnes, DDB Australia managing director of strategy and innovation, said: “Coles’ Sustainability Strategy could not come at a better time. We all have a role to play to make Australia, and the world, a better place for future generations, and Coles’ aspirations towards zero hunger, zero waste and zero emissions are incredibly important steps towards that goal.

“It’s been a privilege to partner with Coles on this project, and support them in their ambition to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.”

Coles’ collectible toy programs have been a part of its reward programs for a number of years. The Little Shop campaign, which involved miniature plastic collectibles of brands, proved to be divisive. Some called the campaign a commercial success, others pointed out the negative environmental impacts of single-use plastic toys.

Stikeez, which was another collectible range of miniature plastic vegetables by Coles, was also met with criticism. A complaint was lodged in April 2020 to Ad Standards that an advertisement for Stikeez was akin to gambling for children.

Coles has switched to more sustainable reward programs in more recent years, such as the Masterchef cookware giveaway and the Little Treehouse book series made from FSC certified paper.

Coles is also no longer selling single-use plastic tableware products.

Pip Kiernan, chairman of Clean Up Australia, said: “Coles is being true to their word that they want to be the most sustainable supermarket in Australia and is taking deliberate steps to get there. It’s simple steps together with our millions of volunteers that powers Clean Up Australia.”

The Little Shop campaign was referenced in IGA’s February 2020 campaign by The Core Agency, poking fun at the rewards program.

DDB Australia has worked on a number of campaigns for Coles, including its 2020 Christmas campaign and the Value the Australian Way campaign.


Coles Australia:
Chief Marketing Officer – Lisa Ronson
Head of Brand and Content – Bianca Mundy
Senior Marketing Manager – Patrick Breen

DDB Australia:
Chief Creative Officer – Coles – Darren Spiller
Head of Art: Noah Regan
Senior Art Director: Adam Ledbury
Senior Copywriter: Will Halstead
Head of Integrated Content: Renata Barbosa
Lead Senior Producer: Tania Jeram
Managing Partner: Pippa O’Regan
Group Business Director: Leah Williams
Senior Business Manager: Sarah Cox
Senior Print Producer: Sonia Ebrington
Production Company: Exit Films
Director: Mark Molloy
Executive Producer: Leah Churchill Brown
Producer: Alexandra Taussig
DOP: Jeremy Rouse
Production Designer: Bev Dunn
Editor: Mark Burnett, The Editors Sydney
Grade: Fergus Rotherham
Online / VFX: Andy McKenna
Sound Engineer: Colin Simkins, Gusto Studios
Stills Photographer: Andreas Smetana, Flint

Media: OMD


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