BRITA x WDC: The Whale Watchers

Iris Worldwide

Client: BRITA

When BRITA set out to publish a children’s book, with an engaging and educational story around whale conservation, in association with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), it was told, “No way can you do this in less than twelve months. You’re mad,” (Penguin, when approached to publish the book).

The campaign didn’t have this luxury of time. BRITA’s research showed 59% of Key Stage 2 pupils are worried about single use plastic pollution affecting whales. Something had to be done, fast, to allay their fears; to highlight the positive actions they could take, not just to feel they’re making a difference, but to actually make a difference and help the whales, whose vital role in the oceans isn’t common knowledge amongst adults, let alone children. Six months later, the book, The Whale Watchers, was launched, with the help of a small publisher. Authored by Dougie Poynter (bassist of McFly, renowned children’s author, and a respected environmental activist), the book became an Amazon best-seller for three weeks. 40% of UK adults were reached through media/social media. The book sold 9,143 copies, with all profits going to WDC, and is now moving into its fourth print run. It gained an enormously high profile: the campaign to drive awareness engaged with 229 councils and numerous MPs, triggered a meeting with Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change, and distributed educational resources to over 500 schools. A little madness, clearly, sometimes has a big result.