Solar powered advertising – SunChips

US - This integrated campaign proves that a grand 'outside-the-box' idea can translate into any medium, including press.

Advertising problem

SunChips factory opened a 10 acre solar grid to produce their product with solar energy. Despite this, the brand’s users were not passionate ‘green’ consumers; they just wanted to do something a little better for the environment.

The challenge was to get consumers to care about the solar means of production; as a result, the advertising needed make its solar USP simple, accessible, and a relevant issue to their target audience. This was achieved in a Public Agenda campaign; as SunChips actively reduced their carbon footprint, they also encouraged consumers to take their own small steps to live a brighter life.

Marketing solution

From packaging to print, outdoor to TV and online, SunChips embarked on an ambitious, inspiring advertising campaign to reinforce its green credentials by driving home its solar-powered manufacturing practises.

In some cases, the advertising’s message was further accentuated due to the creative means in which it was presented biodegradable packaging (available in 2010) to ‘solar powered’ billboards and press ads. In essence, SunChips’ product, like their advertising, was made with solar energy.

The newspaper ad ran on Earth Day, further aligning their brand with this environmental cause. In a media-first, the interactive press ad asked consumers to hold it up to the sun’s rays to unveil the message.

Below are other examples of marketing executions:


  • SunChips sales increased by 17.6%, totalling $US 201.8 million for the 52 weeks ending June 15, per IRI.
  • The marketing campaign did more than spruik up SunChips’ commitment to green power, it established the brand as a market leader in implementing environmentally friendly and sustainable practises.
  • The campaign won a bronze in the Green andSnacks/Desserts/Confections categories at the 2009 US Effies.

This campaign ran in 2008.

Like to learn more? Read a similar case study where ice-cream maker, Haagen-Dazs used a Public Agenda vehicle to help reclaim falling market share, create a bond between their brand and consumers, and truly differentiate themselves from their competitors.

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