The Climate Institute

See how newspapers helped make climate change a key election issue in the 2007 Federal Election.

The Climate Institute is an independent research organisation working to drive innovative and effective climate change solutions. This case study outlines the role newspapers played in their integrated campaign ahead of the 2007 Federal Election.

Campaign objectives

Our planet’s chances of survival will depend largely on how governments manage climate change.

When Australians went to the polls in November 2007, The Climate Institute wanted to ensure the ‘right’ government would get elected. Their challenge was to make climate change a prominent issue for voters, thus increasing its importance for policy makers.

In essence, climate change needed to be at the top of the election agenda.


To make an impact in the face of colossal political party spending, an unconventional solution was conceived – the creation of a political party, The Futures Party.

Its leader would be 9 year old Jack Simmons.

The channel strategy would emulate tactics used by political parties through a combination of top down messaging with bottom up campaigning.

  • Top down: Broadcast agenda-setting
    Establishing the Climate Change platform
  • Bottom up: Grass roots electioneering
    Conveying information and generating voter conviction and action.

The campaign appeared across TV, Radio, Newspapers and Experiential to provoke public debate about climate change, and ultimately generate PR to attract the attention of policy makers.

Strategic use of newspapers as a media channel 

Newspapers were integrated into the campaign to play four strategic roles: 

  • To act as an Extension of television activity, enabling The Climate Institute to raise the profile of climate change, and get it on the Public Agenda.

newspaper advertising influence consumers

  • Conveyed Information to further the public understanding about climate change policies, in turn presenting election parties for (Re)Appraisal through the scorecard creative execution.

newspaper advertising shapes attitudes 2

The effectiveness of the roles played by newspapers is further supported by independent research conducted into how this medium influences consumer behaviour.

Learn more about the six strategic roles newspapers can play.


The objective of the campaign was to influence the way people will vote.

  • Visibility for the campaign through PR was estimated at $1.5m
  • Climate change increased in importance towards Election Day as measured by Google Search
  • Recall for the campaign was strong in the marginal electorates where press was the primary medium, and higher than other climate campaigns.
  • The campaign was recognised as the winner of the Media Federation Award for Effectiveness in the  Finance/Insurance/Government / Corporate & Real Estate category in 2008.

The channel planning agency commented:

“Newspapers were a pivotal component of our strategy that enabled a strong presence in marginal electorates where the election would be most strongly contested”

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