The "Unsale" was my submission to the 2020 Global Young Lions Live competition. My copywriter (who stars in the video as a news anchor) and I finished in the top 10 out of 900+ submissions from around the world. We received a “Highly Commended” mention and was the top entrant from any US-based team or agency.
The assignment was to craft a “big idea” for the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) fight against global food waste. One in nine people go hungry while the world wastes one-third of edible food, with the biggest offenders being developed countries. How can we force change? With the “Unsale”!
Categories - Awareness campaign, creative concept, video editing, tactical ideation
Accompanying written submission:
Hunger and food waste are inextricably linked. One in nine people go hungry while the world wastes one-third of edible food. The impact of food waste goes beyond the waste-starvation equation, contributing to 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While food distribution and carbon emissions rely on systemic change, food waste relies on individual change. The biggest offenders are consumers in developed countries. Consumers waste produce more than any other food group—at a rate of 45%.
During the week of World Food Day, October 16, the UN World Food Programme will take on food waste with a global initiative: the Unsale. The Unsale demands consumers to pay the real price of food waste. Supermarkets will increase produce prices by one-third, mirroring the global wastage rate. This 33% upcharge will be implemented in affluent communities to target wasteful supermarkets and healthy, wealthy shoppers. In the US, a prime candidate for the Unsale is Whole Foods and its holding company, Amazon.
Partnerships with companies such as Whole Foods, Amazon, Target, and others will allow the Unsale to reach broader audiences. They can promote educational content on websites, by email, and through social media. Amazon can encourage waste reduction by offering savings for leftover-based cookbooks, meal-planning tools, and produce-preserving gadgets. Ultimately, they will drive customers to an app that will make a zero-waste lifestyle easier than ever.
The app will be a comprehensive, user-friendly guide to reducing waste. Users will be able to generate weekly, no-waste meal plans for the number of people in their household. The recipes will have overlapping ingredients and prioritize use of the most perishable ingredients. Users will be able to tailor recipes to their preferences, log their current kitchen inventory, and look up recipes for “almost-bad” ingredients. Additionally, the app will offer tips on how to store food and best extend its life.
The UNWFP will partner with celebrities who are passionate about people, the environment, and, of course, food. The Unsale will extend its reach by partnering with altruistic celebrity chef and Whole Foods ambassador, Antoni Porowski. He and other celebrity partners can design the no-waste meal plans featured in the app—both promoting their own work and educating about food waste. Both companies and influencers will sponsor educational content that drives to the sale and app.
Not only does the Unsale raise community awareness of wastefulness by creating tangible, financial consequences, but it requires key food stakeholders to re-evaluate their surplus and environmental impact. Participating companies would reduce their inventory by 33% for the duration of the program with the goal of reducing their food waste and carbon footprints long-term. Ultimately, Unsale profits would be donated to fighting world hunger through the UNWFP.
In one week, the impact of the Unsale with Whole Foods and Amazon would generate approximately 20M impressions and $160K in donations to the UNWFP. Expanding the Unsale to other companies and countries increases the reach and return exponentially, getting ever closer to balancing the waste-starvation equation.