Oscar the Grouch cleans up his act

Sesame Street's resident grump is set to be the face of a national promo campaign for Canada's Waste Reduction Week.

Oscar the Grouch, the trashcan-dwelling character from Sesame Street, is taking on a new role as spokes-Muppet for Canada’s eighth annual Waste Reduction Week (WRW). The cantankerous trash-lover will be the focus of a national media campaign promoting waste reduction that starts Oct. 19 and runs until Oct. 25.

‘Waste Reduction Week is built on positive and colourful messaging that reminds every Canadian that we can all do our part,’ Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director, Recycling Council of Ontario and member of the National Committee for WRW, tells MiC. ‘Oscar helps add to this message with the notion that if Oscar the Grouch, lover of garbage, can participate in this program, anyone can.’

The campaign includes two public service announcements that will air later this month and promotional posters that have already started appearing in schools, government buildings and local businesses across Canada. A public relations initiative headed by Cossette’s Toronto-based PR branch, Optimum Public Relations, is also in the works.

Creative for the campaign was developed by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations from across the country that also helped develop WRW, as well as Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.

Five national WRW sponsors, including Zellers, McDonald’s, Nestle Pure Life, Hewlett Packard and Waste Management, will be running their own cross-marketing initiatives. That’s on top of Optimum’s efforts, which will see Oscar take part in a media tour on Oct. 20 and 21 that will include appearances on CTV’s Canada AM and CBC’s The Hour. The garbage-loving grump will also be involved in a press conference at HBC’s flagship store in Toronto on Oct. 20.