Case Study: Smurfit Kappa

Boxing our way from the
stockroom to the boardroom

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When ‘sustainability credentials’ and ‘branding and communications’ were the second least and least influential purchase drivers in the category respectively, we needed to leverage the power of brand to drive business growth.

Smurfit Kappa is a cardboard packaging business operating in a commodity category that was once driven by efficiency and price alone. Packaging conversations only took place in the stockroom, those in the boardroom didn’t care about packaging or boxes. They cared about more important things – like what went in the boxes. If we were to reach our 3-year target, to grow the new customer base by 30%, we needed that to change.


To unlock a sustained phase of growth, we made a strategic decision to elevate the packaging conversation from the stockroom to the boardroom. We needed to position packaging as a growth driver, a sustainable solution and a strategic imperative for business. To ensure we created work that would deliver on our strategy we developed a clear insight that ‘Waste in all forms is the enemy of growth.’

Let’s make waste extinct. We needed a rallying call. A call-to-action that elegantly communicated the value Smurfit Kappa offered to their customers, and the value consumers were now demanding from business.

Combining the ‘what’s in it for me’ demand of business culture, with the ‘what’s in it for the planet’ demand of the consumer, we developed an idea that unlocked both efficiency and demand. We started telling stories about how cardboard packaging could help save the planet, and how businesses could play their part while at the same time driving efficiency and growth.


Over the course of our campaign, Smurfit Kappa exceeded the industry growth average rate by 42% and delivered a 52.4% increase on the previous three year period for new customer acquisition.

More importantly, the volume of plastic that these new customers removed from the system over this three year period equalled a volume of four times the size of Greater London.

The Mission

Unlock sustained growth in a commoditised, price-driven category without starting a race to the bottom.

The Solution

Let’s make waste extinct.

The impact

52% increase in customer acquisition and a 36% increase in their share price.