TURNING THE TABLE: ALEXIS BRONSTORPH

A LOOK AT AMAZING WORK BY OUR 2021 JUDGES

January 7, 2022

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TURNING THE TABLE: ALEXIS BRONSTORPH

Alexis Bronstorph is currently the Co-Chief Creative Officer at TAXI Canada, but she probably started her career in advertising earlier than any of our other 2021 Advertising Awards judges. When she was nine years old she did voiceover work for a radio commercial, but then took a brief hiatus to become an adult, and over the last 16 years, has been working as a creative director and copywriter across all disciplines, from experiential to broadcast, digital, social, out of home and print. Throughout her career, Alexis’ strategic and collaborative approach has helped build and grow brands from the small and local to the big and international. Her work has won numerous international awards, and even landed on the cover of Archive Magazine. Impressively, she was just named to Adweek’s Creative 100 of 2021.

We asked Alexis to share a project she was particularly proud of and she picked an electrifying one.

volkswagen, carbon neutral, advertising

CAMPAIGN NAME: The Carbon-Neutral Net
CLIENT: Volkswagen Canada
TIMING: January 2021 - present

BACKGROUND:
Volkswagen is on a journey to make emissions-free mobility accessible to everyone through the reveal of their first sustainable, all-electric SUV. But with other automotive companies heavily promoting their own electric vehicles, we needed to do something unique to bring VW’s sustainability efforts to the forefront.

INSIGHT:
The internet has a surprisingly large carbon footprint and generates around 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, a 2020 survey showed that 73% of people were entirely unaware of this fact.

But the less data embedded in online media, the less energy needed to transfer it over the web, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. So, we set out to design a website that’s as carbon-efficient as Volkswagen’s all-new electric vehicle.

EXECUTION:

We did the unthinkable for a car brand. We reduced Volkswagen’s website to almost nothing by removing all images and colour, creating the first sustainable web experience for an automotive company.

How? We removed every image from Volkswagen’s website and replaced them with over 1.5 million ASCII characters, meticulously coded to create the illusion of car photography. No JPEGs. No PNGs. Only live text, used to mimic photographic light and shadow. This drastically reduced the amount of embedded data, transforming an industry-standard website into a significantly more sustainable one.

Then, we removed all colour, in favour of a stark black and white palette inspired by the energy efficiency of dark mode. We also applied a similar methodology behind the scenes, by streamlining code, stripping down JavaScript, subsetting fonts, and using lighter frameworks.

This brought awareness to Volkswagen’s new all-electric SUV, while demonstrating tangible change. While design choices can impact usability, emotion, and aesthetics, our website transformation demonstrates that design can impact sustainability too.

volkswagen, carbon neutral, advertising

RESULTS:
The result? A website that’s 99% cleaner than over 2 million sites tested – generating only 0.022g of CO2 per page view (versus the average of 1.76g). This was validated via a full manual assessment by Website Carbon (third-party experts in digital sustainability), who factored in the proportion of desktop and mobile users, the carbon factor for national grid energy, and data centre/user locations. Based on 100,000 page views, our site now saves over 171,800g of CO2 per month.

Since launching in January 2021, the Carbon-Neutral Net has been covered in 90+ media outlets worldwide and garnered over 27 million impressions with no paid media. Not only did we cut through the industry noise to promote Volkswagen’s all-new electric vehicle, but now site visitors can read all of VW’s sustainability-focussed content the way it was meant to be seen—in the most carbon-efficient way possible.

We are immensely grateful that Alexis shared her time and expertise with us while judging the 2021 Advertising Awards. To see more of her work visit TAXI’s website here. You can also check out her personal site here, or follow her on Instagram here.

 

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