Reef Relief

Agency: McCann Demand

Reef Relief


In the run up to the summer holiday period, leading marine and cosmetic technicians from sunscreen brand, Stream2Sea, and coral scientists from the University of Derby, led by UN marine advisor Professor Michael Sweet, have developed ‘Reef Relief’ in partnership with global ad agency McCann. The product is a world-first environmentally friendly sunscreen that is scientifically formulated to not only protect the skin from UV rays but to feed and nourish endangered coral reefs.

Coral reefs are vital to marine and human life but are facing serious threats from climate change, pollution, and other human activities, with an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen ending up in the world's oceans every year – and as many as 80% of ordinary sunscreens containing chemicals that contribute to coral bleaching and dying reefs.

The product was soft launched in 2023, and the team has since brought in Professor Michael Sweet and his team at the University of Derby, a world-leader in marine and coral research, to undergo thorough testing. As a result, Reef Relief has now been scientifically proven to actively boost healthy coral growth by up to eight percent in some species.

A bespoke formula was created with an eco-cert compliant base and all harmful chemicals removed, which passed extensive aquatic safety testing, with an added innovative blend of FDA-compliant marine nutrients that coral naturally feeds on.

Professor Sweet, who is a coordinating author for the United Nations World Ocean Assessment, comments: “Coral reefs are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, supporting more than 25 percent of marine life and one billion people worldwide. Reefs are also estimated to have a total global value of $2.7 trillion per year, because of their provision of food and medicine, contribution to tourism and the coastal protection they provide. However, if we continue harming the world’s reefs and do not make any substantial changes to our carbon footprint and other stressors associated with reef decline, 90 percent of these important ecosystems could be functionally extinct by 2030.”

While some manufacturers have begun to remove harmful chemicals like Oxybenzone, making them reportedly ‘reef safe’, Reef Relief goes one step further and aims to help them thrive with the added nutritional formula.

However, there is a lack of regulation when it comes to what ‘reef-safe’ or ‘reef-friendly’ actually means on packaging, meaning consumers can easily be misled. To combat this, Reef Relief presents to the world another first, in a brand-new, scientifically validated certification – not just SPF, but RPF: a Reef Protection Factor, with the hope that the mark will become an industry standard to help consumers make responsible choices.

Jon Elsom, Group Executive Creative Director of McCann Central, said, “We’re really excited about Reef Relief. By partnering with Stream2Sea and the University of Derby, we’ve been able to create a new, fully reef-safe formula with an added unique blend of nutrients that coral naturally feeds on. This is game-changing. A simple, important and powerful idea and exactly what the world needs more of – original thinking leading to a product and initiative that could genuinely benefit the planet.”

Stream2Sea and McCann are currently in talks with global government and tourism bodies with a view to launch the product in their territories.

This professional campaign titled 'Reef Relief' was published on June 07, 2024. It was created for the brand: Stream2Sea, by ad agency: McCann Demand. This Integrated medium campaign is related to the Household Products and Public Interest industries and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 8 days ago.


Agency: McCann Demand


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