project bag habit


This is an assignment that I completed in January 2015 for my ADV 509 Advertising Research & Planning class. I received an A on this project.


With an estimated 1 trillion plastic bags used annually and Americans disposing 1 billion bags each year (Reuse It), plastic bags have become a known hazard to the environment (NT EPA). In order to bring substantial change to the city of Syracuse concerning plastic bags, we will target Syracuse University Millennial students A18-24. These students make up 14% of the city’s population (Syracuse University) for the majority of the year. Appealing to the social activist nature of SU Millennials makes them the prime target for a plastic bag revolution. 

This advertising campaign will strive to make student shoppers aware of the harmful effects plastic bags have on their local environment as well as drive action by persuading them to switch to reusable bags. We want to this campaign to have a long-lasting effect on the Syracuse community that will influence life- long changes in behaviors. 

Project Bag Habit is a campaign split into two parts: Awareness and Action.


 Example of a mural created with plastic bags [ Source ]

Example of a mural created with plastic bags [Source]

In order to raise awareness about the hazards of plastic bags, we would partner with SU Sustainability to create a mural constructed only with plastic bags in Schine Student Center. The mural would illustrate the effects that single-use bags have on our environment.

Since in our previous research we learned that students have an excess of plastic bags in their homes, we want students to contribute their unused bags to this awareness cause. Not only will this put old plastic bag to good use, but also creating artwork together can help foster a sense of community while raising awareness for the campaign. Since Schine Student Center is a place with heavy traffic on Syracuse University campus, this effort will generate attention and interest. It is an integral part of the campaign as it will help kickstart buzz and word-of-mouth among students. We will have articles posted about the mural on The Daily Orange and SU News. 

 Example of print advertisement (Original Photo Source: Jon Bower)

Example of print advertisement (Original Photo Source: Jon Bower)

 Project Bag Habit homepage (Original Photo Source: Behance)

Project Bag Habit homepage (Original Photo Source: Behance)

At the same time, print advertisements with facts about the harmful effects plastic bags have on our environment and a call to action to students will be posted all around campus. These ads will appeal to viewers’ emotions by showing animals struggling to live properly with plastic bags invading their natural habitats. The tagline “Break the bag habit” is a short and catchy slogan that emphasizes our mission to help consumers adopt new habits of using reusable bags. 

Project Bag Habit will also have an online presence to appeal to the Millennial who is constantly connected through their mobile device, laptop, and tablet, according to Simmons. This website will help inform viewers about current environmental issues as well as how the switch from plastic can change the environment. We will also have a Twitter and Facebook to keep the community updated about the progress of the plastic bag mural, grocery specials, coupons, and environmental news. 


Our main call to action is to have students switch from using plastic bags to reusable bags. To expedite this, we will work with the city to have a small fee on plastic grocery-bags in Syracuse. Since a small fee on single-use bags is most effective in encouraging shoppers to use reusable bags (Surfrider), this will serve as motivation for the Millennial, who is price sensitive (Adage), to avoid paying extra money for disposable bags. The goal is to deter student shoppers by the extra cost of plastic bags.

At the same time, grocers will offer a loyalty program that offers shoppers benefits by using reusable bags. Consumers who join the loyalty program will accumulate points by using reusable bags to take home their purchases. As consumers gain points and hit certain point milestones, users will receive occasional discounts on their purchases.

 Example of reusable bags in their extended form, compact form, and in a wallet (Photo Source: Pinterest)

Example of reusable bags in their extended form, compact form, and in a wallet (Photo Source: Pinterest)

The combination of a small fee on disposable bags and gaining discounts for utilizing reusable bags is a useful and practical application that will appeal to the student Millennial because of their price conscious and socially responsible nature. 

The bags that will be available for purchase at grocers in Syracuse will be convenient as well as stylish for shoppers. In its compact state, it will be available as an attachment on shoppers’ key chains and will also be small enough to be carried in wallets. This will make it very handy for shoppers who may shop spontaneously or who might forget to bring their reusable bags from home. These bags will be completely environmentally friendly, as well as sturdy in order to have high functionality. 


Project Bag Habit aims to reduce the amount of plastic bag users through educating student shoppers and providing them a convenient, undisruptive, and mutually beneficial method of transporting their groceries. This creative strategy is designed to provide life-long changes to the students through helping them understand the environmental toll plastic bags have on their surroundings and showing them that there is a viable solution. 


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