Change starts with you


Client: Keep Britain Tidy

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the UK - they may be small, but they are a huge problem. Smokers are unaware of the environmental impact of littering with a cigarette butt. The challenge is that dropping a cigarette butt is an unconscious habit - as soon as they are flicked, they are seen as someone else’s problem. What our audience didn’t know was that a discarded butt can take up to 14 years to break apart releasing deadly toxins into the environment.

Keep Britain Tidy needed to produce a nationwide campaign that would smash the myths around butts as harmless rubbish and make binning your cigarette butt second nature for smokers. As a thread throughout the campaign, we showed the problem from the unique perspective of a ‘butt’s eye view’ of the world. In the TV launch we follow the butt from being flicked and onwards on its long journey through the years, damaging the environment as it breaks apart. Posters boldly ‘rubbished’ the myth that cigarette butts are biodegradable or harmless, retargeted social played on the channels un-skippable nature and showed how discarded butts just don’t go away, while radio gave ‘voice’ to the outright repulsive character of a butt. After just a few months from launch we are already seeing data that shows encouraging behaviour change with 89% saying the campaign made them more likely to bin their cigarette butt or take it with them.