UNICEF Air Pollution


Right now, 86% of the UK’s children are breathing in harmful levels of toxic air. The Government’s current plan also means air pollution in the UK is expected to remain at harmful levels for at least another 10 years. Meanwhile, PHE estimates air pollution could cost the health and social care services £5.3 billion in 2035.

Children living in highly polluted areas are four times more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood; as well as their lungs it can stunt brains and increase risk of asthma and pneumonia. Our challenge was to educate and engage people on an issue that can not be seen, and encourage them to petition the Government to make change.


Our target audience was broadly parents as we felt the messaging around the impact on child health would resonate best with them. A pre-campaign test showed that this messaging struggled to connect with the broader audience, in comparison to previous campaigns, so we took this opportunity to understand more about which audiences with parents would respond to the campaign.


Air pollution is a major health concern for the UK but there are key areas in which the effects are more visible and so we focussed on three main cities: London, Manchester and Birmingham. We ran concurrent awareness and activation campaigns, focussing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as social platforms naturally lend themselves to activism campaigns. This gave users the opportunity to share causes they were passionate about and stimulate conversation. Together with Teads, we then ran a number of awareness videos to build frequency of messaging outside of social platforms. Due to the localisation element, we tested messaging and tailored creative to users by highlighting the level of pollution in their area. The campaign also coincided with the Extinction Rebellion protests and the London Underground campaign promoting ULEZ, meaning that we were able pick up on a wider moment to make our media work harder.


Localising our messaging led to uplifts in conversion rates and more generally, localised elements of the campaign saw higher and more positive engagement.

The overall digital campaign achieved a reach of 9M and 10,351 petition sign ups
It smashed both reach and sign up targets by 180%


UNICEF Air Pollution

Right now, 86% of the UK’s children are breathing in harmful levels of toxic air. Focusing on London, Manchester and Birmingham, our challenge was to educate and engage people through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, encouraging them to petition the Government to make change.

Business Objectives