The BBC wanted to do their bit to combat climate change. They realised that Children and young people are highly engaged with the environment and according to the latest Girl Guiding survey of almost 80,000 5–24-year-olds, it is their number one concern. However, 80% of teenagers (14–16-year-olds) surveyed by the Body Shop in 2019 felt pressured to save the planet but didn’t think they were well-enough equipped to make a difference.
Awareness of issues around climate change and the pressure to protect the environment is leading to climate anxiety. Last year a Newsround survey (2,000 8-16 years) found that 1 in 5 children have had a bad dream over climate change fears, and 3/5 worry that climate change will have an impact on their lives. Sadly 2 in 5 said they do not trust adults to tackle this challenge and 3/5 young people don’t feel their voices are being heard.
With this in mind, BBC Bitesize created The Regenerators, an ambitious campaign aimed at 5-16 years olds with the goal of alleviating eco anxiety and empowering young people to adapt to a more sustainable world by equipping them with the knowledge and tools to take action. BBC Bitesize brought Brickwall in to spearhead the action strand of the campaign and create the key promotional to get the content to the audience.
For the action strand of content, two key stats from the BBC’s research really resonated with us – the fact that young people didn’t have faith in older generations to effectively tackle the problem, and that they felt their voices we’re being heard. We wanted to make our content truly peer to peer and give the young people who are already leading this fight the platform to empower and inspire their peers. We reached out to a diverse group of sustainability and environmental influencers within the target age groups to lead our content and worked closely with them to create authentic, personable films focusing on specific areas of sustainability in everyday lives where huge difference can be made. Each film was led by a specific ‘expert’ from the group who could talk to their experiences in the area and give actionable advice and tips, before an open discussion between a number of participants about what works for them or areas they find challenging.
We knew that in order to engage such a wide age range, we needed to create bespoke streams of content that would appeal to each specific group and give tips and advice that was appropriate for their age group. For the younger audience, we worked with families with younger children with a focus on how sustainability can be a whole family endeavour, for tweens and young teens we focused on how their interests and hobbies could become more sustainable and for the older age group we looked to show them how they could find their voice on the subject and spark change on a higher level. We also wanted to ensure that the content was relatable for all knowledge levels within the audience, so alongside our influencer experts, we included participants who were taking their first steps on their sustainability journey to show how even those who have little understanding or knowledge at the start can make real positive changes easily.
For the promotional content for the campaign, we wanted to partner our amazing young participants with more recognised sustainability names and faces across the BBC to strengthen the campaigns reach. We worked with the likes of Cel Spellman, Konnie Huq and Dr Amir Khan to create a suite of hero social content to launch the campaign, and followed this up with bespoke short form content to engage audiences across their native platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram.
The campaign launched on the BBC Bitesize website in late 2021 and has been a huge success. It has been picked up by a number of national and local press outlets, with a number of our young influencers being featured across broadcast shows such as BBC Morning Live and radio platforms such as BBC Radio 4 and 5 live. The campaign also performed well across social platforms and garnered strong engagement from the target audiences. The BBC are thrilled with the initial impact of the campaign since launch and are looking to work on future content throughout the year.
You can see more of the campaign here.