Hopenhagen: the Ultimate Cause Marketing Campaign

cope-hope-flagpole-english-low-resIf you follow environmental issues, chances are you’ve come across the beautiful, inspiring Hopenhagen campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to draw attention to the upcoming United Nations climate change conference COP15, which you can read more about here. Many folks who care deeply about climate change are watching closely with their fingers crossed, hoping that strong commitments will come out of the conference.

For those of us on the ground who care about the outcome of the talks but aren’t involved in politics, there isn’t much to do but watch and worry. And that’s where Hopenhagen comes in. The brain-child of Ogilvy Earth, an international sustainability marketing company, Hopenhagen is the branding of a movement. The purpose of the campaign is to give activists something to do besides watch and worry: we can hope. The power of “hope,” as we learned with the viral “Yes We Can” video during the Obama campaign, is that hope has a way to inspire and motivate people to action in a way that fear never can.

Hopenhagen is not only a play on the city where the talks will take place, but a subtle jibe at the choices we have in the climate crisis. We can cope with climate change by changing our behavior, moving inland and finding alternate habitats for the polar bears, or we can hope that the crisis will move us toward a more sustainable way of living sustainably, with the resources we have available on this planet. There’s a lot of opportunity for innovation there.

Triple Pundit had the opportunity to hear Freya Williams, co-founder of Ogilvy Earth, at Opportunity Green yesterday and she had an elegant way of describing what her company set out to do: “We don’t need to create a movement– the people already have their passion. We set out to create an umbrella under which people can gather.”

hopenhagen football teamIt’s Williams’ goal that the umbrella will include activists who run with the campaign and use it as a tool in ways that they haven’t even thought of. Like the rogue Danes who are planning to cross out the “C’s” and replace them with “H’s” to turn Copenhagen into Hopenhagen on street signs during COP15, or the Danish football team that played as Hopenhagen for a match to bring the message out to football fans.

That’s what makes this the ultimate cause marketing campaign because Ogilvy Earth is doing what it does best to market and support a movement they believe in.

I love the idea of companies doing what they do best and donating their time in the way they can be the most effective. Ogilvy Earth are not policy experts and they’re not trying to be, but they know how to use media to inspire and engage people, and that’s exactly what they’ve done with the Hopenhagen campaign.

Jen is editor in chief of TriplePundit. She has an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and lives in Oakland with her husband and baby. 
Hit her up at on twitter @jenboynton to discuss diapering strategies or sustainability reporting methodology.