Sky Zero Footprint Fund targets brands and agencies

sky_zeroThe Sky Zero Footprint Fund, the £2m scheme established to help brands accelerate their sustainable initiatives and inspire behavioural change using TV advertising, is returning for a third year with a new expanded format.

The campaign champions the adoption of tangible steps towards a sustainable future and is an extension of the media owner’s Sky Zero pledge to go net zero carbon by 2030.

Like last year’s grand prix winner, Serious Tissues, the top prize is worth £1m in TV media spend; the four other winners – which last year included Royal Mail – get £250,000 each.

Once again, the initiative is open to brands, media and creative agencies in the UK and Ireland.

This year, will also see the introduction of an additional fund for local businesses and initiatives – The ‘Local Heroes’ Fund – with winners partially voted for by the public, will be launching in April using AdSmart from Sky to help connect businesses to their local community.

So far, the Sky Zero Footprint Fund has invested £4m in advertising support for sustainable brands, which will exceed a total of £6m in 2023.

A panel of industry figures with credentials in advertising, creativity and sustainability will assess the entries, with this year’s judging panel welcoming a raft of new experts, including Electric Glue chief executive Pippa Glucklich, Sky Sports presenter and sustainability lead David Garrido, marketing consultant Michelle Carvil, Serious Tissues co-founder Chris Baker Creative consultant Rosie Arnold, behavioural scientist Richard, and The Barber Shop founder Dino Myers-Lamptey, Advertising Association chair Stephen Woodford, Bigger Picture at Sky group director Fiona Ball, Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay, and AdGreen global director Jo Fenn among others.

The judging panel will ultimately select the five winners based on their sustainable operations to date, their commitment to a carbon zero future and their product/services’ potential impact to drive positive behaviour change at scale.

New research, specially commissioned by Sky Media, on sustainability in advertising will also be released next month.

Carried out in collaboration with Savanta, the analysis of over 5,000 Sky customers delves into the role of green messaging, its impact on behaviour and brand preference. The research highlights key creative levers which drive influence, as well as the dangers of inauthenticity and greenwashing.

Initial finding show that three in five Sky customers say that sustainability messaging in advertising influences their brand choice, and that by including credible and actionable sustainable messaging in a campaign has the potential to drive 5% increase in short-term effectiveness, as well as greater long-term brand preference.

Sky Media director of planning Sarah Jones commented: “While the cost of living crisis is taking much of our attention, we can’t afford to forget about climate change. So, for this year’s Sky Zero Footprint fund, we’d love to see ideas that can save the planet and your pocket at the same time.

“We’ve seen the impact our fund can have on launching more sustainable businesses on TV and the catalyst effect on the categories they are in too. With our biggest ever Footprint Fund in 2023, we are excited to see how we can help drive change at a local and national level.”

Applications are open until May 26 2023.

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