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  • Ecosia’s ‘Weird Search Requests’ campaign will be live in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK
  • Its concept expands on award-winning brand video created by students at Germany’s Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg
  • The campaign has been developed together with JCDecaux’s Nurture Programme - which helps start-ups and scale-ups across Europe to scale their brand - and Sky Media in the UK
  • With more than 120 million trees already funded by users’ searches globally, Ecosia expects the campaign across 12 European cities to generate significant growth for tree planting

Green search engine Ecosia is launching its first major international brand campaign in cities across Europe, to let millions of potential new users know that they can turn their searches, no matter how weird, into trees.

The user-generated campaign speaks directly to users in each city, by displaying searches they have shared via social media. It has been developed together with JCDecaux, the world’s leading out-of-home advertising company, and Sky Media in the UK.

The concept stems from an award-winning brand video created by students at Germany’s Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, originally the students’ own initiative for a class assignment. It shows Ecosia users making unusual searches on the app, which leads to a tree sprouting up wherever the search was made - ranging from a bus to a lecture hall - and ending with the words: “No matter how weird your search request, we’ll plant the trees anyway.” The film won a number of awards, including silver in the prestigious Young Director Award award at Cannes.

Ecosia’s marketing team has obtained a 12-month license for the video and expanded on this concept together with JCDecaux to develop a comprehensive print and digital campaign, targeted towards several traffic types including bike and public transport. Digital panels will display a search on the Ecosia app, localised to the neighbourhood they are displayed in.
 Hannah Wickes, CMO at Ecosia, commented: “‘Weird Search Requests’ is our first major out-of-home and TV campaign and we couldn’t be happier to be working with such engaged partners as JCDecaux and Sky Media. Both partners are committed to Net Zero, and have their own ambitious targets to tackle the climate crisis. Their support on this campaign means we can reach millions of new Ecosia users. Our audience is uniquely young and active and growing rapidly, with 3.9 million users already in France alone, but we need our movement to grow even faster to keep pace with the climate emergency. With new users joining across Europe with this campaign, we will be able to plant millions more trees and expand our critical work of regenerating forests around the world."

In line with JCDecaux’s sustainable development strategy, the campaign is part of JCDecaux’s Nurture Program, a program within the company which partners up with start-ups and scale-ups across Europe to help them scale their brand through high-impact, high-trust out-of-home media. By featuring weird searches specific to the local areas in which they are displayed, the campaign capitalises on the contextual power of out-of-home advertising. The print campaign will be printed on 100% recycled paper and PE vinyl posters, and digital screens are powered by green electricity.

Isabelle Schlumberger, Executive Director of Business Development, Sales and Marketing for JCDecaux France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Israel, said: “Cities are where all human challenges emerge and where solutions are invented, especially to deal with the issues of global warming and environmental transition. At the heart of urban spaces and everyday life, JCDecaux is simultaneously a mass media, public media, and a proximity media. We are very proud to support Ecosia with its universal and powerful message through our Nurture program, which aims to empower global businesses of the future by giving them a voice in the real world. In France, this campaign illustrates how JCDecaux applies the commitments from the UPE – Union de la Publicité Extérieure, the representative body of the profession – to reduce carbon emissions and promote a responsible communication.”

‘Weird Search Requests’ will roll out across more than 3,700 displays across 12 cities in Europe: Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne in Germany; Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille in France; Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and London, Manchester and Edinburgh in the UK.

About Ecosia
Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Ecosia is the world’s largest not-for-profit search engine. It has planted more than 120 million trees across 26 countries worldwide. In 2014 Ecosia was accredited as a B Corporation and in 2017 it built the first of its four solar plants to ensure it is 100% renewable, reaching 200% renewable in July 2020. In 2018 Ecosia gave away its shares to the Purpose Foundation, to assure that it can never be sold and that no one, including the founder, can profit or receive dividends from the company. Ecosia was founded by Christian Kroll in 2009. 

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About JCDecaux
JCDecaux, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, is present in more than 80 countries and 3,670 cities with over 10,000 inhabitants. For more than 55 years, JCDecaux products have been the benchmark in innovation, quality, aesthetics and functionality. Thanks to the expertise of its employees, the Group's service offering, particularly on upkeep and maintenance are recognised by cities, airport and transport authorities, along with advertisers around the world. JCDecaux is currently the only world-class player to focus exclusively on outdoor advertising and the development of all related activities: street furniture, transport and billboard advertising. In the age of the smart city, JCDecaux is positioning itself as a major player and is already playing a vital role in building the connected city, a city that is more human, more open and more sustainable.

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