When the Environment Polluter is wanted by Justice

When the Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (Be’ah) wanted to launch a community campaign against the indiscriminate dumping of waste as part of its social responsibility, the Company was aware that traditional campaigns based on advice or direct awareness no longer pay off and do not achieve the desired results; therefore, the Company decided to break the traditional pattern and launch a more aggressive and intensive campaign against the violators of environmental laws; as it wanted to push for the imposition of environmental fines against the violators.

Here comes the role of the Alamah Marketing Company, which “Be’ah” asked for its assistance to supervise and implement the campaign; as Alamah searched for the best similar local and international campaigns after completing the creative summary and agreeing on the campaign’s objectives; in addition to reading dozens of international studies and books specialized in analyzing and interpreting the behavior of those who indiscriminately dump waste or harm the environment in general. The Alamah team viewed many theories, such as the broken window, the herd effect, the importance of the written pledge, and the triggering feelings of some actions; in order to benefit from them in the campaign’s applications.

The campaign’s objectives mainly focused on creating a community from the public itself that would report any environment polluter through the proposed hashtag “#Wanted_ For Justice” (#مطلوب_للعدالة); and that is by personalizing the environment polluter and cornering him to make him feel that he does not belong to the community; in addition to raising awareness of the amount of damage inflicted on the environment as a result of irresponsible actions by the people.

After an intense search process and lengthy discussions, the #Wanted_ For Justice (#مطلوب_للعدالة) approach was chosen; as it focuses on personalizing the environment polluters, and portraying them as outlaws wanted by justice for committing the waste dumping violation. This unusual approach was chosen in the Sultanate, given its cruelty and severity; and it was inspired by the idea that “anger drives people to adopt a cause and act towards it more than sadness”, according to the studies viewed by Alamah. The campaign aimed to stimulate the public’s feeling of anger at the environment violators; thus pushing them to act towards the environmentally harmful situations that they see every day, whether by reporting them or asking polluters to stop their actions.

Since we wanted it to be a community movement, the campaign was not launched from the “Be’ah” accounts; rather, a cooperation was made with a number of Omani photographers interested in photographing tourist sites; in order to launch the hashtag (#Wanted_ For Justice) (#مطلوب_للعدالة). The snowball started rolling in March 2019; as the photographers expressed their displeasure with the time and effort they make to dispose of waste, which appears in the tourist sites’ photos, by using photo editing programs, when this waste should not have existed in the first place; and they demanded that the visitors should commit to disposing their waste properly, and that the concerned authorities should enforce environmental laws and impose violations on the non-compliant individuals.

The hashtag (#Wanted_ For Justice) (#مطلوب_للعدالة) spread and gained wide activity and interaction by the general public; making it reach the top of the list of trending hashtags in the Sultanate for two consecutive days. Many photographers, environmentalists, influencers on the social networks, and the general public, who are dissatisfied with the damage to the environment, have participated therein, and the hashtag received media coverage by many local broadcasters and newspapers.

Afterwards, Be’ah Company adopted the (#Wanted_ For Justice) (#مطلوب_للعدالة) hashtag through the campaign’s main video and its accompanying advertisements outdoors and in the cinemas, and the posts and advertisements in the various social networks. The campaign was accompanied by many events on the ground in many of the Sultanate’s governorates, which focused on cleaning up the tourist sites and raising the public’s awareness about the campaign. It also organized an awareness event for the campaign that brought together a number of influencers, media professionals and decision-makers from establishments, such as the Royal Oman Police, the Ministry of Environment, the Society for the Environment, and others; in order to present and discuss the campaign, benefit from the feedback from the attendees, and encourage them to activate the campaign, each in their own way.

Alamah contributed to the campaign by choosing the approach, creating content for the social networks, managing the advertisements, and helping to coordinate with the campaign’s partners, including photographers and influencers, and with the media agencies; along with providing consultations regarding the campaign’s main video, the radio advertisement and the outdoor ads.

The (#Wanted_ For Justice) (#مطلوب_للعدالة) campaign proved that thinking outside the box leads to the desired results; as the hashtag continues to be used today by the public when reporting environmental violations, and the campaign won first place at the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Award 2019.

This Award is designed to highlight the marketing campaigns that increase awareness in the waste field and encourage sustainable management of waste and resources; and it is held annually within the ISWA Awards; in order to honor the creative efforts in three different categories: Publication, Video, and Communication. It is worth noting that each of these awards is recognized at the ISWA Annual World Congress.

Alamah held a discussion session on the “Wanted for Justice” campaign as one of Alamah’s discussion sessions, entitled “How does an advertising campaign turn into a social wave” on the 10th of November 2020; which was attended by Essam Al-Sharji, Head of the Affairs Department at the Be’ah Company; Dr. Marwa Al-Henaia, Assistant Professor in the Marketing Department at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at the Sultan Qaboos University; and Nihal Al-Lawati, Digital Community Manager at Alamah Marketing.

The session discussed the Be’ah Company’s motives for launching advertising campaigns regarding environmental conservation and waste disposal, and the reasons for launching the “Wanted for Justice” campaign, which dates back to 2011 after a wide spread of photos of a tourist site indiscriminately polluted by tourists. The session also discussed the reasons for choosing an intense and shocking campaign title such as “Wanted for Justice”, and how to turn an advertising campaign into a community wave controlled by community, rather than the responsible establishments. As for the behavioral aspect of the campaign, Dr. Marwa discussed why some marketing campaigns are solely being spread socially, and how a campaign can actually change the people’s behavior, and what the establishments should do in their marketing campaigns to change the public’s behavior.

To watch the full session, you can visit our YouTube channel:


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