Top Ad Groups and Google Mobilize Gen Z Around the Sustainable Development Goals
14 June, 2017
The Common Future Project Combines Industry-Leading Talent from Advertising’s ‘Big Six’ and Wieden+Kennedy to Launch a Global Action Campaign on YouTube
— The Common Ground alliance, in partnership with Google, today announced the launch of “The Common Future Project,” a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at driving widespread awareness and action among young people in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the United Nations in 2015.
The Common Future Project combines multidisciplinary teams from across the world’s biggest advertising and marketing services groups and independent advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy with the dedicated resources from Google to create a global action campaign for the SDGs that engages the current generation of mission-driven young people – otherwise known as Gen Z.
UN Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina Mohammed said: “The Sustainable Development Agenda is the most ambitious anti-poverty, pro-planet agenda ever adopted by the UN. The Common Future Project recognizes the power of young people as global agents of change. I commend the Common Ground partners for this creative effort to transform the video platforms that young people use into platforms for action for a world of peace and dignity for all.”
Over a three-day period, teams from Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP, as well as Wieden+Kennedy, worked side–by-side at the YouTube Space NY to develop big ideas with the goal of inspiring Gen Z (aged 15 to 24) – the largest generation of youth in history – to become advocates for the SDGs and take action toward a more sustainable future.
As part of the workshop, multi-agency teams experienced briefings from the UN Deputy Secretary General and the UN’s SDG Team on the challenges of galvanizing Gen Z and others globally around the SDGs. These agency teams also explored the cultural influence of YouTube, a place where anyone can have a voice, and how the power of video is helping brands and creators generate positive social change.
On the final day, the teams had three hours to shoot, produce and edit rough videos of their concepts in the YouTube Space before pitching a panel of experts including UN SDG Advocate Alaa Murabit; Jake Horowitz, Co-founder, Mic.com; Madonna Badger, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters; and Golriz Lucina, Head of Creative for
In a joint statement, Toshihiro Yamamoto, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu; Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Havas Group; Michael Roth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IPG; John Wren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom Group; Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Groupe; Neil Christie, Global Chief Operating Officer of Wieden+Kennedy; and Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:
“In the year since the launch of Common Ground, we have seen companies across the world uniting behind the Sustainable Development Goals. The Common Future Project is an unprecedented physical manifestation of that commitment to collaborate, and to the important role our industry can take in addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges.”
Over the next few months, a virtual cross-agency team will work to develop and produce the winning idea into a broader campaign, set to launch later this summer. The campaign will tap into the range of ways to tell stories on YouTube, including the newest format, built-for-mobile bumper ads (:06) and longer-form content. To support and amplify the campaign, Google is committing a grant of global YouTube media.
Torrence Boone, VP, Global Agency Development, Google said: “When we first learned about the Common Ground initiative last year, we saw a terrific convergence of interests and values. Time and time again, we’ve all seen the power of video and YouTube to help affect positive social change. So we’re thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on the great collaboration of these agencies coming together for the common good and are committed to helping their great ideas come to life on our platforms.”
Launched by the world’s six largest advertising holding companies (Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP) last June at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Common Ground represents a working partnership that transcends commercial rivalry to: accelerate the achievement of the SDGs; demonstrate to the industry and world that the goals are of universal importance and require universal contribution; and inspire other industries to follow suit.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
In September 2015, UN Member States unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focused on the three interconnected elements of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. With 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, the Agenda is universal, integrated and transformative and aims to spur actions that will end poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change between now and 2030.