How to Create a FOG (fats, oils and grease) Campaign for Your City

The holiday season, or “peak grease season” is around the corner, and while it may look a little different this year (thanks to COVID-19) – your municipality and township is likely gearing up for your fats, oils and grease (FOG) campaign. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for an award-winning campaign, here are three ways your municipality can ensure you’ll have a successful campaign:

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Think Social

Social media is a useful tool for municipalities, small and large. Many municipalities have adopted social media because it enables them to reach and engage with citizens online. Advertising on social media is a great way to reach your audience in a low-cost, impactful way. With the ability to distribute information very quickly, your organization should consider using social media ads to expand your reach and educate your target audiences about the dangers of disposing of FOG down sinks, drains and toilets, and in turn, encourage them to dispose of these materials through environmentally friendly, sustainable and safe methods.

Through social media, you can give each of your target audiences something unique, useful and interesting. By segmenting your audiences into sub-groups, you can create materials and messaging that are tailored specifically to each sub-group. For example, young adults aged 20-30 may resonate with something that is fun and light hearted, or maybe need messaging that introduces the ideas of FOG, whereas an older demographic might just need a friendly reminder about the proper disposal options available for residents.

You can then take advantage of using visual assets that will better resonate with the target audiences you defined. They will keep them coming back to your social channels for more, increasing your audience reach through shares, retweets and reposts of meaningful content. The buzz will invite new social media followers and new visitors to your website. Keep in mind that social media is flooded with content every minute of every day, so make sure your content stands out from the rest.

  • Consider incorporating a catchy campaign title and hashtag e.g. #GreaseBeGone or #CeaseTheGrease. Without relevant content, your audience will lose interest in what you have to say and continue scrolling.
  • Think about how influencers on social media help spread a campaigns reach. If your campaign sub-group is targeting younger audiences (e.g. Generation Z), it's more important than ever to work closely with social media influencers. You can empower them to become the new face of your campaign and message.

Choose your social media channels wisely and consider what makes sense for your type of organization.

Video for the win 

Don’t be afraid to make your campaign creative, attention grabbing and eye catching. To cut through the clutter with your campaign, your content should be memorable, and perhaps that means it incorporates a bit of humour! 

North Americans ranked video as the #1 content asset they would like to see from companies. (HubSpot, 2018).

Videos can help clearly illustrate your message and motivate viewers to learn more. By using simple and clever content, animation, illustration, music and voice-over, videos can convey large amounts of information in a short period of time.

Additionally, the emotional impacts of video can be tremendous. Video is more engaging to our human senses as opposed to text, so it can convey more information by both showing and telling at the same time. You can make a more solid personal relationship when you’re storytelling through sight and sound, connecting a viewer’s emotions to your campaign. (Source: Social Media Today).

And finally, social media feeds can be noisy these days with many advertisers, so short and snappy videos are the way to go. A good rule of thumb for social media is to keep the video under 60 seconds in length. If you can pack it into 15 seconds, that’s even better. 

Here’s a great example of a municipality who leveraged the power of video storytelling, the impact of unique visuals and the wide reach of social media to capture the attention of their audience:


In late 2018, the City of Hamilton launched the 'Own Your Throne' flushables outreach campaign. Developed by the City and eSolutionsGroup, the campaign has established a creative, humourous and family-friendly tone, with witty and diverse characters, viral messaging and a unique style to discuss private and sensitive household practices.  This campaign has allowed the City to begin the conversation on properly disposing waste on a residential level and the FOG outreach campaign aims to continue the success that 'Own Your Throne' started.

The campaign’s videos and web pages have generated tens of thousands of views, along with hundreds of social media shares and comments. Residents and students have also gotten the opportunity to learn about the 3Ps and appear in photo opportunities through selfie boards and character puppets at events like World Toilet Day, an OHL Hamilton Bulldogs game and UN World Water Day.

Our "Own Your Throne" animated video series has generated more than 40,000 views in a short few months.

While communicating your story may seem like a simple task, bringing your video campaign to life requires expertise, skill and an industry perspective. Our approach combines decades of municipal experience with our team of creative, outside-the-box animators and communications specialists who can design the right storyboards and scripts that directly speak to your audiences and compel the right calls-to-action.

OOH isn’t dead

When large tech firms like Facebook and Google are looking to spread the word and generate a mass reach quickly about a new product or feature, they turn to out-of-home (OOH) marketing, by purchasing large billboards and outdoor ad placements around the world. The reason? When these companies want a message to get noticed, they go out-of-home. That’s because great OOH creative can spur user-generated content (UGC) and communication, which can spread your message ever further.

Does your municipality own any OOH media, for example transportable billboards? These are a low-cost, effective option to help spread your campaigns message beyond the internet. Consider including some of these other OOH ideas in your next campaign: 

  • Bulletin billboards
  • Digital billboards
  • City buses
  • Transit shelters
  • Bus benches
  • Subway stations
  • Lamp posts
  • Garbage trucks

The best benefit of all? With OOH media you can generate a mass reach quickly, without any skip buttons, ad blockers, or bots in the way.

Overall, by using social media, videos and OOH marketing as part of a comprehensive communications campaign, you can really increase the engagement and effectiveness of your key messages and drive positive, behaviour change throughout your community.

Learn how to create a communications campaign that drives behavioural change in your community Download our on-demand webinar Download now