News & Insights

Kingfisher Presents: Circulation - A New Life for Devices

Our latest campaign follows the journey of a discarded phone as it goes on to live a second, third and fourth life with multiple people.

Starting with the all too familiar sight of an old phone being discarded into a drawer after being replaced with a shiny new upgrade. The drawer starts to rotate and with it, its contents, which then evolve into a series of vignettes denoting the theme of circularity and a phone being passed from one person to the next symbolizing multiple lifetimes.

"It’s estimated that a staggering 5.3 billion mobile phones were taken out of circulation last year, with the majority disappearing into drawers and landfill. The fact is that consumers are looking for sustainable alternatives to device ownership but don’t want to compromise on having the latest devices. This campaign aims to turn the concept of the mobile circular economy into something tangible; that it’s possible to upgrade whilst extending the life of an existing device, benefiting consumers, carriers and the planet."

— Luke Nathans , Chief Marketing Officer, Kingfisher

"Given there are already more phones than people in the world, and with the projected addition of 1.19 billion more new phones to come this year - this in itself should be a significant indicator that we need to radically rethink phone ownership models. Fast. We know that navigating the circular economy isn't easy, and through this campaign we wanted to show that there is a simple and sustainable alternative that puts both people and the planet first."

— Leanne Henderson , Brand Director, Kingfisher

As part of the campaign, a moving kinetic sculpture was created by renowned Helsinki and Tokyo-based artist collective, Sun Effects, and debuted at mobile world congress (MWC23), the largest and most influential global connectivity event.

Standing at nearly three and a half metres tall with a 14-metre-long spiral rotating on a central axis, the sculpture was made of refurbished phones, their displays synched to create one continuous screen to denote windows into the circular economy. The software to wirelessly link and synchronise each phone display was specifically developed for the project.

After MWC23, all the used smartphones were circulated back to live a third life via DeafTawk, a global charity dedicated to improving the lives of the marginalised deaf community, through Kingfisher’s partnership with GSMA.

GSMA, Kingfisher, DeafTawk, Jazz, Telenor and Mobilink Micro Finance Bank come together for the device handover ceremony at Mobile World Congress

The sculpture is set to continue its circulation journey at other major events in 2023, again using refurbished phones which will be circulated back into use afterwards.

According to the GSMA, extending the lifetime of all smartphones in the world by just one year has the potential to save up to 21.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually by 2030, equal to taking more than 4.7 million cars off the road. In 2016, the mobile industry was the first to commit fully to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The GSMA has set a climate ambition on behalf of the industry to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Superson, the creative team behind the campaign shared:

"We all have that drawer…stuffed with things we think might come in handy one day…such as our old phones. The reality is that they stay there, unused, unloved until one day…the drawer is eventually emptied and its contents discarded. “This campaign looks to humanise the concept of circularity by showing refurbished phones getting a new life; of a phone being passed from one person to the next, from one life to another, capturing special moments along the way whilst doing good for the planet."

— Antti Toivonen , Managing Partner, Superson

Circulation isn't a compromise

Discover how our circular transformation model is having a positive impact for operators, consumers and the planet.

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