OLIO: what a wonderful waste


Key Points

  • OLIO wanted to change consumer behaviour and drive app usage
  • They created a compelling TV ad that was designed to generate emotion and action
  • As a result, 35,000 people signed up for the app

The Challenge

Household waste is humanity’s next fight to save the planet from environmental disaster. UK households alone produced just under 27 million tonnes of waste in 2017 (latest figures from 2021). We recycle only 45.7% across the UK as a whole, while countries like Germany manage to recycle 66% of their waste – a rate more than 40% higher. If food waste were a country, it would be the third biggest contributor to CO2 emissions after the US and China (Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation)

OLIO is a free app set up to help tackle food waste. It connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so that surplus food can be shared rather than thrown away.

In the run up to Christmas 2021, Hell Yeah! were challenged to spotlight the food waste crisis and get people to share via OLIO, helping to reduce consumer waste.

Their objectives were to:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Encourage behaviour change and shift attitudes around household waste and sharing
  • Increase app usage
  • End overconsumption and waste & reduce landfill – the ultimate goal

The TV Solution

Hell Yeah! understood that they needed to make their target audience of parents care enough to change their behaviour, and that emotion was the key.

They wanted to confront people with the shocking reality of the UK’s waste crisis, making the problem feel urgent, close to home and impossible to ignore.

With TV’s ability to generate emotion and affect behaviour change it was the lead medium for the campaign with support from Out of Home and Social Video.

The TV ad featured a group of British kids singing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World on a landfill in Wales. The stark reality, the simple creative and the haunting juxtaposition made the meaning clear – if we don’t begin to share more, our children will pay the price.

The Plan

The campaign was one of the winners of the Sky Zero Footprint Fund – an initiative set up to support brands that are committed to driving positive behavioural change and tangible impact towards a more sustainable future.  Winners were selected based on the most impactful and creative idea with the aim to support these businesses to accelerate and amplify their initiatives to change the word for the better through the power of TV advertising.   

The TV ad ran UK-wide across Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and UKTV channels from November 2021 through to January 2022. Launching in the year’s biggest consumer moment meant the ad stood out amongst the usual array of Christmas ads. The continuation of the campaign into January meant tapping into the ‘change’ mindset that comes with the new year.

There were 40 second and 30 second versions of the ads which ran across the day but with a daytime skew and across all genres but with a focus on entertainment shows.

The TV campaign was supported by OOH in London only and on Google video ads and Facebook ads which were set up to drive app instals.



  • 39% increase in ‘first’ OLIO listings
  • 25% uplift in web and app visits
  • 23% increase in sign-ups
  • 28% increase in the number of listings
  • 35,000 people signed up to OLIO

Awareness / attitude shift

  • +35% brand awareness
  • 50% of ad recognisers said it made them consider how to reduce their food/household waste
  • interest in using sharing apps almost doubled from 12% to 22% following the campaign

In addition, 100,000 free listings equate to approx. 54 tons of CO2 emissions avoided.

Saasha [Celestial-One, OLIO co-founder] and I had a big bold message we wanted the world to hear. One that aimed to not only wake us all up, but just as importantly to empower the viewer to realise that what they do really does matter. That they can make a difference. Hell Yeah! did an absolutely phenomenal job in bringing this tough brief to life. Not only was the campaign a huge commercial success, it's also one of the things I'm most proud of.

Tessa Clarke Co-Founder and CEO, OLIO


Sector:  Online services / apps

Brand: OLIO

Campaign objectives: To raise awareness, to increase app usage and to change behaviour

Target Audience: Parents

Budget: Approx. £1.4m total spend

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 1st November 2021 to 1st February 2022

TV Usage: 40” and 30” spots

Creative Agency: Hell Yeah!

Media Agency: Squadron Venture Media

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