HDOT launches Trash Free Hawaii campaign

Posted on Oct 19, 2017 in Highways News, Main, News

PSAs strategically use visuals, music, and pacing to draw public attention to the fight to eliminate trash from Hawaii’s roadways, beaches, and waterways.

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highways Division, Oahu District’s Storm Water Management Program commissioned two new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) as part of their Trash Free Hawaii campaign. The goal of the campaign is to combat littering on Hawaii’s roadways, beaches, and waterways.

“Littering on our roadways is a serious problem that can have devastating environmental effects,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami. “Trash that ends up in our storm drain system goes directly into the ocean untreated negatively impacting water quality and marine life.”

The new Trash Free Hawaii PSAs begin airing in September on local networks and cable stations as well as on various websites. The PSAs were produced by communications agency Milici Valenti Ng Pack (MVNP) and take a different approach to delivery of HDOT’s anti littering message.

“You can’t preach at people. That doesn’t change behavior – sometimes it has the opposite effect,” explained Steve Tom, creative director at MVNP. “You have to get to people emotionally. Then you’ll have a chance to move hearts and minds—or in our case, change behavior.” Tom has worked on several PSA initiatives including an award-winning national anti-smoking campaign. MVNP hired noted local director Jeremy Snell and Shooters Film Production to produce the Trash Free Hawaii PSAs.

One of the PSAs, “Bittersweet Symphony,” opens on an underwater shot of a diaphanous form undulating in clear blue water. Permeated with tiny bubbles and shimmering in the dim deep, it could be a jellyfish, a bridal veil, a beautiful art piece—the mystery is heightened by an orchestral soundtrack. Finally, the truth is revealed: it’s a plastic bag, like so many that plague our ocean and shorelines. The unexpected finish jolts viewers to take note and recognize the need to make Hawaii trash-free.

The second PSA, “Time Matters,” begins with a frenetic rhythm building to a countdown. While timeframes flash on the screen, we see people going about their busy lives around town, jogging while ripping open an energy bar, commuting on the bus with coffee and newspaper in hand, chewing gum while marching down the street. At first, the timeframes do not follow any order—they seem to be unique to each person. As they approach zero, the PSA’s characters arrive at trash cans and the message becomes clear: You only have to wait a short time to dispose of your trash properly. The spot communicates the urgency of holding onto trash, something we may not consider very often, and compels action by showing how easy it is to not litter—it’s just a matter of a few moments.

The PSAs, along with additional Trash Free Hawaii material, can be viewed on trashfreehawaii.com


About the Storm Water Management Program
The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Highways Division, Oahu District is responsible for the implementation of the Storm Water Management Program. This initiative is undertaken to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Oahu municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). The Oahu MS4 qualifies as a large municipal separate storm sewer system since it services a population greater than 250,000 and is therefore subject to permitting requirements under the NPDES Program for storm water discharges. The program is designed to reduce, to the maximum extent practicable, the amount of storm water containing pollutants from entering and ultimately discharging from the DOT-HWYS MS4 into the streams, rivers and ocean that we all enjoy. For more information, visit https://www.stormwaterhawaii.com/