Video campaign for Earthwatch: empowering people to save our planet

09th April 2019

Environmental organisations regularly need to encourage behaviour change, raise awareness, and communicate complex messages. An emotional video campaign can be an extremely effective way to achieve this. Our client, Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental NGO, knew that to make an impact with a broad audience, they needed video content that would engage them from the heart.

Team Hurricane won the creative pitch to produce and activate a video campaign to help them raise brand awareness and educate their audience about who they are and what they do as an organisation.

We were thrilled to take on this project. Our planning, creative and production teams were involved throughout, from the script and storyboarding to sourcing the crew, casting and location research, and we will be also be leading on campaign activation.

A hero brand film for an NGO

To help create a go-to-market content strategy, we utilised the Hero, Hub, Help, Action formula. This film is the ‘hero’, a flagship brand piece with high production values that encapsulates Earthwatch’s brand ethos.

The Earthwatch mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. For this film, the brief was to encourage the next generation of “Earthwatchers” to get involved with the NGO and engage with the natural world.

Watch the final film for yourself here:


What was the concept for the film?

We knew that identifying a strong central emotional hook for the film was vital to drive engagement. What would be the catalyst to encourage a disengaged teen or young person to put down their smartphone and care about nature?

The compelling visual hook we created was coming eyeball to eyeball with a beautiful deer. Before a surprise encounter with the deer, the main character in the film is disengaged, preferring social media to the natural world and not connecting with the issues of climate change that affect us all.

As a result, she goes on a journey as a ‘citizen scientist’ to help protect the natural world facilitated by Earthwatch and their connections with leading scientists. The audience follows her discovering more about Earthwatch through social media and then engaging in key Earthwatch activities.

Filming on location

In this film, nature is a central character itself, so the locations were vitally important. Our team invested time in finding the perfect spots; the video was shot in beautiful areas in the Forest of Dean, and we even managed to capture the bluebells in bloom. For the seaside research shots, we chose the beautiful spot of Ladye Bay in Clevedon, Somerset.

Genuine Earthwatch participants

The lead is played beautifully by our actor Nicole Castillo, while the rest of the cast are either volunteers or staff from Earthwatch. This mixture of professionals and amateurs works well to bring authenticity and added realism to the video. Of course, as on any Hurricane production, there was a fun atmosphere on set – and we even laid on a BBQ on the beach.

Reaching the right audience with video content

A soft launch trailer has gone down a storm on social already, and we’re set to be working with this NGO on future campaigns. As part of the organisation’s video marketing strategy, we will be involved in seeding their video content (TV spots, social media) to ensure that they get the best value out of any content and that it is modified to suit the different channels. Video allows us the ability to establish clear KPIs to assess the real results for a brand.

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If you’re an NGO or environmental charity looking for inspiring video content, get in touch.

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