Metro Vancouver wants you to create memories, not garbage

Metro Vancouver's "Create Memories, Not Garbage" campaign

This upcoming holiday season, Metro Vancouver wants you to be a “green angel” and help reduce unnecessary garbage.

The campaign — appropriately titled “Create Memories, Not Garbage” — is supported by a microsite as well as a number of outdoor ads. If you’ve used public transit in the last month or so, you might have noticed these ads — cute and light, they communicate the message without necessarily making you feel guilty.

I personally liked that the ads featured some diversity as well. Vancouver is such a multi-cultural city that sometimes I question why we don’t see more minorities in our ads.

Metro Vancouver's "Create Memories, Not Garbage" campaign

For the most part, I also like the accompanying microsite. Through the site, you can send e-cards (people still send these?), share ideas on how to reduce garbage, and learn how others have created memories instead of giving gifts before.  But more importantly, you can learn more about Vancouver’s garbage issue.  Even the animated GIF — something I usually find distracting — kinda works here because of the great photos.

A social campaign?

Great to see that Metro Vancouver also thought of a hashtag (#greenangel) to track conversations about this campaign.  The videos are also interesting and short —  perfect for sharing!

Further improvements

“Create Memories” is pretty impressive, and obviously, Metro Vancouver has invested a great deal of resources here. There are some possible improvements though.

The microsite can encourage more sharing, I think. I don’t see Tweet, Facebook share, LinkedIn share or StumbleUpon buttons. Personally I’m more likely to tweet this campaign out than to email it to my contacts as an e-card.

The outdoor ads can also mention the hashtag. Vancouver is such a social media-savvy city that many people will actually get it, so why not?

On the public relations front, Metro Vancouver could have partnered with an organization such as The Clean Bin Project for this. I’m imagining a series of blog posts about tips on alternative gifts. It would a great PR opportunity if they pulled the mayor in. Perhaps Mayor Gregor Robertson can share his own “Christmas past” with us?

And then for social media, Metro Vancouver could generate more conversations by asking questions instead of simply pushing messages out. Perhaps even ask followers to submit images of their own Christmas past. The possibilities for crowdsourcing are endless here!

Finally —and this is based mostly on personal preference — I think that they could have selected a better typeface. By selecting a typeface that is a tad too childish, they may turning off an important segment of their target audience here: the adults! The cutesy feel of the ads may appeal to parents but might be missed by younger adults, who I’d imagine, are into this gifting thing.

Learn more!

Since seeing The Clean Bin Project this summer, I’ve been thinking a lot about the garbage that we produce and how it’s impacting our health and our environment. I think Metro Vancouver has an important message here. Please visit to learn more and consider not purchasing more stuff this Christmas.

© 2011 – 2014, KC Claveria. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please link back to

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  • Mike Abasov

    I think this campaign is garbage. I’m also too lazy to explain why, so I’ll just leave this statement like an ignorant bastard I am :)

    • KC Claveria

      Re-reading my blog post, I think you might be right. I’ve listed far more improvements than kudos. I hope they don’t recycle this campaign then. 😛