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Reimagining the Iconic Earth Hour Campaign with WWF

Creating a new vision, brand and campaign for the
world’s largest grassroots environmental movement



World Wildlife Fund (WWF)


Next-Gen Marketing

CX Strategy & Design

In 2007, WWF created its flagship global environmental movement Earth Hour, which encourages people across the world to come together in a moment of unity for the planet.

With greater urgency to address climate change 
and reverse nature loss, WWF approached EPAM Continuum in 2022 to help reimagine Earth Hour’s brand, vision and global campaign. The Biggest Hour for Earth was born, and in 2023, people around the world pledged 410,000 hours of nature-positive activities to celebrate our planet.


Transform Earth Hour to Create a Nature-Positive Future

Known for its iconic images of unlit landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and London’s Big Ben, Earth Hour encourages individuals, communities and businesses to switch off non-essential lights for 60 minutes. As the world’s largest grassroots movement, it plays a vital role in supporting WWF’s mission to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and nature.

However, despite Earth Hour’s growth in engagement, reach and supporters over the campaign’s 17-year lifespan — engaging millions in the process — market research revealed that 52% of the global public still hadn’t heard of Earth Hour. Yet, in 2023, we need Earth Hour more than ever.

The planet is at an important moment. We’re only seven years away from 2030 Nature Positive goals — which science tells us are critical to meet if we’re to bend the curve of biodiversity upwards and achieve a nature-positive world.

​​We need Earth Hour to engage people and communities around the world to join our global environmental movement — and in turn, influence businesses and governments to commit to positive change. Given this renewed sense of purpose and urgency, in 2022, WWF made a commitment to breathe new life into Earth Hour and enlisted EPAM Continuum to help achieve this.

Over the course of six months, we worked in partnership with the Earth Hour team and WWF stakeholders from 
23 cities and territories to develop a new long-term positioning strategy that would help deliver its nature-positive ambition by 2030. To support this, we re-energized Earth Hour’s brand messaging and identity 
and developed a new creative campaign and concept 
for its execution in 2023.

A Refocused Audience & Strategy

To build even greater awareness and inspire millions to actively make a positive impact for Earth, we knew we needed to reimagine Earth Hour’s “Lights Off” call to action and take the annual campaign beyond a single symbolic gesture.

We started with audience research in key regions and quickly identified a new target audience for Earth Hour we called “the inactive middle” — a group not defined by demographics but by their inaction. The inactive middle is overwhelmed by eco-anxiety and eco-fatigue, but unsure of what exactly they can do to make a difference. This audience responds better to more optimistic content and communications versus “doom and gloom” messaging. Mobilizing this audience would make a significant impact in helping WWF achieve its 2030 goal.

Using our market research as a guide, our strategy was to position the annual Earth Hour event as an “entry point” for these audiences to set them off on a nature-positive journey that is salient and meaningful to them — one that is inspiring and engaging while also being authentic and, crucially, optimistic.

Our core strategy involved the evolution of Earth Hour’s brand messaging and identity, as well as a new creative campaign and concept for execution in 2023, to help 
the WWF network attract more of the new inactive middle audience globally through the power of local Earth 
Hour teams.

A Re-energized Campaign & Brand

The “Biggest Hour for Earth” campaign was introduced alongside its new call to action: “Switch off. Give an Hour for Earth.”

Inviting the world to switch off from distractions and “Give an Hour for Earth,” we would help Earth Hour bank as many planet-positive pledges as possible, aiming to amass seven years — mirroring the time we have left to take action 
to secure a nature-positive world for the sake of people and planet. Switching off lights was a message and action 
that excluded communities without reliable access to electricity. This new concept is inclusive and unifying — anyone, anywhere can take part simply by changing their routine and dedicating an hour to the planet by participating in a 
range of nature-positive activities.

To highlight Earth Hour’s renewed purpose and urgency, we created a new brand identity and tone of voice, working within the parameters of a globally recognized, respected and trademarked logo.

The result is powerfully simple. The new logo introduces a flip-clock motif, aligning the brand closer to the concept of time and urgency. The evolution not only retains the integrity of the original logo but brings new clarity and ownership to the Hour with the ability to inspire and catalyze tangible impacts on the ground.

We simplified, modernized 
and expanded the color palette and shapes, and placed people at the center of Earth Hour’s photography as they are the heart of change.

Together, these elements create distinction and consistency across digital and physical formats, helping Earth Hour own a very specific space in 
the conservation movement called optimistic environmentalism.

We simplified, modernized 
and expanded the color palette and shapes, and placed people at the center of Earth Hour’s photography as they are the heart of change.

Together, these elements create distinction and consistency across digital and physical formats, helping Earth Hour own a very specific space in 
the conservation movement called optimistic environmentalism.

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Building The Biggest Hour for Earth in 2023

In March 2023, as homes and landmarks across the planet switched off their lights, we encouraged people to switch off from their daily routines and daily distractions - to take a break for 60 minutes, to give an hour for Earth and come together in support and celebration of our planet. We created a brand book and campaign toolkit that introduced WWF's global network and local offices to the 2023 Earth Hour campaign story and its specific context.

But, most importantly, the brand book provided guidelines and assets to implement at a local level - empowering teams to guide supporters toward a range 
of actions and events that would have the most impact on their local communities. In 2023, Earth Hour's brand refresh and campaign saw immediate results with an estimated 90+% adoption rate across 190 countries 
and territories.

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Recognizing the importance of reaching the "inactive middle," Earth Hour established two major global partnerships:

EPAM's corporate social responsibility partner the Scratch Foundation, a global NGO dedicated to providing young people with digital tools and opportunities, and EPAM client Epic Games. Earth Hour collaborated with Epic Games to engage over 400 million registered global players in one of 
the world's most popular games, Fortnite. Throughout the Earth Hour weekend, millions of players had the exclusive opportunity to engage in the Earth HourXFortnite experience, using an in-game flashlight as the virtual lights were switched off for the first time.


With a presence in over 190 countries and territories, we used the power of the people to turn a single Earth Hour into millions of hours of action and awareness, creating a domino effect of impact that continues well beyond 60 minutes.


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“EPAM Continuum has been an integral partner in helping 
us to breathe new life into Earth Hour, into our work, our ambition and into our message, creating the Biggest Hour 
for Earth to reflect the urgency in achieving them — which requires mobilizing more people than ever.”

Yves Calmette
Senior Director of Brand and Communications at WWF International
and Global Campaign Director for Earth Hour


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