Old appliances find new life in latest Currys campaign

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Old electronic appliances left languishing in cupboards in homes across the UK spring to life and take themselves to Currys to be traded in and recycled in a new campaign by AMV BBDO and Spark Foundry, designed to help reduce the volume of e-waste going to landfill.

The UK was the world’s second-largest generator of e-waste in 2022 producing an average of 23.9kg of electronics waste (mainly IT and telecoms items) per person, according to one recent study.

Currys

As the country’s largest technology retailer, Currys said it is committed to helping its customers keep tech in circulation through its in-home and repair centre operations and to dispose of unused items sustainably through a combination of awareness-building and incentives.

Last year, Currys collected almost 60,000 tonnes of redundant technology across the UK and Ireland, meaning 1.3 million individual units which were either bound for landfill or a life of collecting dust in cupboard drawers were proactively recycled.

This new trade-in initiative, which is part of Currys’ broader sustainability strategy “Long Life Tech”, needed a campaign to motivate action that was neither preachy nor overly complicated. The response is a simple, warm and playful campaign in which e-waste comes to life.

In a series of spots – one 60-second, three 30-second and three 15-second – familiar appliances including an old TV set, a vacuum cleaner and a mobile navigate UK high streets to reach their nearest Curry store – much to the confusion and amusement of onlookers.

On the day of the shoot, the motorised props were released on an unsuspecting public and people’s natural and authentic reactions captured. The end result is cheeky and fun.

The campaign, which will run on social and online from March 10, coincides with Currys major trade-in event launching on February 01 and running until April 25.

Ernest Osafo, Advertising lead at Currys, said: “When we worked on the concept for our ‘On My Way To Currys’, our main objectives were to assert ourselves as the experts and authority within our sector, whilst giving our customers reassurance that we are here to help with all their recycling needs.

“We crafted a piece that invokes intrigue and amusement while communicating that Currys tech experts are ready and waiting to ensure customers get value for their old tech, and are able to recycle unused items sustainably”.

AMV BBDO Creative Directors Jeremy Tribe and David Westland, said: ”Over half a billion items of used tech are currently being hoarded in UK homes destined for landfill, yet they still hold some value.

“Currys, the UKs largest tech recycler, wanted to ensure people couldn’t ignore the problem so we created self-driving old tech appliances and unleashed them on the streets as they headed to Currys to be traded in and recycled”.

Rebecca Dorfman, Managing Partner at Spark Foundry UK, said: “With such a strong creative proposition in the works, our media approach needed to be video-first to successfully land the ‘trade-in’ message with our audience.

“In order to effectively grab our consumers attention during key moments, we strategically placed the creative in contextual spaces, across high-reaching platforms such as YouTube. We’re really excited to be part of a campaign encouraging sustainable practices”.

In 2022, Currys partnered with AMV and Spark Foundry to launch “Cash for Trash”, a series of billboards full of old and broken tech.

The interactive out-of-home sites in London, Leeds and Manchester displayed items such as a broken toaster or an old mobile which passers-by could grab on the way past and exchange for a minimum of £5 when buying new tech at one of the retailer’s shops.