Old electronics become unique Minecraft coins in tech retailer Elkjøp’s recycling initiative


Old electronics become unique Minecraft coins in tech retailer Elkjøp’s recycling initiative

Producing electronics like a phone or a computer requires extracting valuable minerals and metals from our natural resources, and the world is running out of them. Recycling these electronic devices and the materials they contain is a great solution for a more sustainable industry, but most of us have old or obsolete electronic devices with precious materials inside that are lying forgotten in drawers and basements.

To encourage more people, especially the younger generation, to start recycling their old devices, Elkjøp Nordic is launching a unique Nordic campaign called ‘Urban Miner’ where players can return their e-waste and get Minecraft currency in return. The concept is developed by NORD DDB in collaboration with Microsoft and Elkjøp Nordic.

“Through Urban Miner, we want to use the world’s largest hobby to engage new target groups and deliver an important message: There are millions of old devices in Nordic households that need to be recycled. In the same way that Minecraft characters mine materials to make something new, we want people to ‘mine’ their old electronics by returning them so that we can recover the valuable materials they contain,” says Nils Martin Øyo, game marketing manager at Elkjøp Nordic.

This unique initiative connects Elkjøp Nordic with the world’s largest gaming community with over 140 million players and enables real action.

“This is a sustainability initiative driven by a creative idea rooted in pop culture. We work where the target group is and we facilitate the action. Minecraft is a great example of people using their ingenuity and problem-solving skills to create. It’s a case of the virtual world coming to the aid of the real world, says Jens Østrem”, creative at Nord DDB.

Minecraft is owned by the multinational software company Microsoft. For Microsoft, the initiative’s clear opportunity for young people to act sustainably has been instrumental in entering the collaboration.

“With an ambitious sustainability vision, we will always explore new ways to raise awareness and engage society. We know that Minecraft can play an important role in inspiring a better world and therefore it has been a pleasure to collaborate with Elkjøp Nordic on Urban Miner. Hopefully the campaign will inspire all generations to recycle old electronics, and we look forward to seeing more households in the Nordic countries bring their old devices to the nearest Elkjøp, Elgiganten or Gigantti store,” says Hamre, Head of Subscription and Content at Xbox in Europe.

The campaign units consist of films suitable for all digital platforms as well as the cinema. In the movies, we see Minecraft characters come to life to ‘mine’ old electronics around the house. There will also be big in-store activations with movies and posters running in parallel to the paid campaign, in stores across the Nordic countries.

“This project really shows the creative power of the NORD creative group. It is a truly Nordic campaign, the creative idea was developed in Oslo and launched with the support of the Stockholm team, and it is now running in all Nordic countries. I am very proud of the whole team, says Simon Higby”, NORD DDB Nordic Creative Director.

How does it work?

Anyone in the Nordic countries can take their old electronic devices to the nearest Elkjøp, Elgiganten or Gigantti store to recycle them and get valuable Minecoins in exchange that they can redeem in-game. Each appliance that is recycled has a value corresponding to the recyclable materials found in it. This adds an educational component to the campaign by highlighting the different materials, what they do, and what they’re worth.


North DDB: creative agency

Creative: Jens Ostrem

Creative: Ingrid Hvidsten

Creative Director/Senior Creative: Frank Nystüen

Creative Director/Senior Creative: Andre Gidoin

Nordic Creative Director: Simon Higby

Director of Clients: paulina dragonja

Client Manager: Emma Gaudi

Client Manager: Jorunn Wold

Design: rune gabrielsen

Design: Emilio Langbraaten

Design: Elin Wiger Fengnell