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

Producing electronics like a phone or computer requires extracting precious metals and minerals from our natural resources, and the world is running out of them. Recycling these electronics and the materials inside is a great solution to a more sustainable industry, however, most of us have old or outdated electronics with precious materials inside that are forgotten in drawers and basements.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 was developed by NORD DDB in collaboration with Microsoft and Elkjøp Nordic.

“With Urban Miner we want to use the biggest hobby in the world to engage new target groups and convey an important message – there are millions of old tools found in Nordic homes that need to be recycled. The same way characters in a Minecraft mine use materials to make something new. We want people to “mine” their old electronics by giving them back to us so the valuable materials in them can be recovered,” says Nils Martin Oyo, Marketing Director of Games at Elkjøp Nordic.

This unique initiative connects Elkjøp Nordic to 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 popular culture. We work where the target group is and make it easy for them to act. Minecraft is a great example of people using their ingenuity and problem-solving abilities to create. It is the state of the virtual world that comes to the aid of the real world, As Jens Østrem, Creative Director at Nord DDB says.

Minecraft is owned by the multinational software company Microsoft. For Microsoft, the initiative’s clear opportunity to get young people to behave sustainably was crucial to entering into this collaboration.

With an ambitious vision of sustainability, we will always explore new ways to raise awareness and engage the community. We know that Minecraft can play a huge role in inspiring a better world, and so it was a pleasure to collaborate with Elkjøp Nordic on Urban Miner. We hope the campaign will inspire all generations to recycle old electronics, and we look forward to seeing more families in the Nordic countries bring their old gadgets to their nearest Elkjøp, Elgiganten or Gigantti store,” says Hamry, Xbox Content and Home Subscription Jacket – Europe.

The campaign modules consist of films suitable for all digital platforms in addition to cinema. In the movies, we see Minecraft characters come to life to “mining” old electronics around the house. There will also be major in-store activations with movies and posters running 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 really a Nordic campaign, the creative idea was developed in Oslo, launched with the support of the Stockholm team, and now it is running directly across the Nordic countries. I am really proud of the entire team,” he says Simon Higby, Nordic Creative Director at NORD DDB.

How it works?

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


Nord DDB: creative agency

Creator: Jens Ustream

Creator: Ingrid Hevedsten

Creative/Senior Creative Director: Frank Neistoin

Creative/Senior Creative Director: Andre Guidoin

Nordic Creative Director: Simon Higby

Client manager: Paulina Dranga

Customer manager: Emma Gucci

Customer manager: Goron Wolde

design: Ron Gabrielsen

design: Emile Langbraten

design: Elaine Weiger Fengnel