Short List
Product / ServiceVINYLS
CategoryA10. Excellence in Audience Engagement & Distribution Strategy
Media Placement ALIBABA GROUP Hangzhou, CHINA
Production KILLDEATH Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Jean-Baptiste Ledivelec FF CREATIVE GROUP HEAD

The Campaign

For years, air pollution has been a reality in China. While on heavily polluted days, it is easy to see the haze, the rest of the time air pollution remains imperceptible. So to try to ignite conversation about air pollution, we turned air pollution into tangible pieces. We gathered 10 rising artists around a unique album. Then we released the album as a series of 200 vinyl records made of air pollution. For the first time people could see how tangible air pollution is and also experience it through another media which is music. The noise on the record was not added in post production but is the result of imperfections created by air pollution particles.

Creative Execution

First we gathered 10 risings Chinese artists from different genre, around one very unique album called “The Undiscovered”. Then instead of simply releasing the album online, we crafted a limited series of vinyl records made of actual air pollution. First we collected air pollution dust using air purifiers. Then we mixed the air pollution dust with transparent resin to make 200 vinyl records. The result is a series of unique and imperfect LPs. All records are perfectly playable, but the noise on them are the results of air pollution particles. But to make sure those records have a direct impact, all records were put to auction with proceeds going to a planting tree program with Alibaba which allowed to plant more than 5000 trees.

Alibaba music website recorded 130 million visits in the first week. Toxic Records became a trending topic on China’s Twitter. Toxic Records got more than 100 press coverages online in China. Finally the sale of all records helped to plant more than 5000 trees to fight air pollution through Alibaba planting tree program.

Alibaba Music and its platform Xiami, is the biggest music streaming app in China, and decided to bring 10 rising artists together around a unique album and use their platform to spread a message about air pollution. The result is Toxic Records, 200 unique vinyl records made of air pollution and sold to plant trees in China. The target audience is composed of young Chinese millennials, living in top tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen. They love music and use music streaming service everyday.

From the beginning, Toxic Records were designed to live outside of advertising-- a series of vinyl records made from air pollution had a huge impact on the way we look at air pollution in china. The strategy was firstly, to create a tangible piece and also a solution to a problem (each record were sold with proceeds going to a tree planting program). Secondly, to raise awareness about the state of air pollution in China, during a time where the young generation got used to the situation. Fundamentally the strategy was not only to start a conversation; but also to get the target group – and beyond - to actively fight air pollution by sharing the campaign with their network and get donations through the sale of the records.