The assistant editor picks out five thought-provoking projects and PSAs that aim to make a difference
My favourite spots are the ones that make you laugh and the ones that make you cry. These ads are a selection of both. I’ve fallen into a real YouTube rabbit hole of some amazing sustainability and climate change PSAs and adverts. The more we can do to make the really important information entertaining, the better. Here are some of my faves...
Greenpeace - 'Los Santos+3ºc'
Agency: VMLY&R Brazil
I spent a good proportion of my school holidays playing GTA and recognised it instantly...it felt like a proper little throwback. It’s bold of Rockstar to allow it - it’s really invasive for the player! Using a video game as a platform for a PSA about sustainability is genius. The characters are wearing face masks due to excess air pollution. The mission wasn't robbing banks or stealing cars; it was delivering safe drinking water, or helping climate refugees who had been displaced by global warming. The GTA franchise is maybe one of the most well-known virtual cities in video gaming, so to flip it and use it to depict the devastating effect climate change might have is incredibly powerful.
Wherefrom - 'Greenwashing'
This is really funny, provocative and catchy. I’m all about the cheesy pop vibes so I vibed hard with this one! Wherefrom highlight the hypocrisy of many ‘green’ brands and shows how for many big corporations, going green is more about the street cred then actually committing to sustainability. They incorporate as many empty statements about the environment as possible and then enshrine them in UK Copyright law - the idea being to dramatically reduce the copywriting tools brands can use to avoid doing proper green work! #stopthewash
Earth Definition - ‘The New Standard in Streaming’
Agency: Hjaltelin Stahl
I love how this message is literally conveyed through the form. Can’t remember the last time I watched a Youtube video at 480p. Michelle Monaghan delivers a simple lesson on the difference, environmentally, between standard definition and HD. It’s a niche issue that I had never thought about, yet is a huge contributor to global carbon emissions. Will definitely get me thinking next time I’m watching replays of Harry Styles at Coachella. Maybe his sparkles will shine just as bright in 480p!
Delphine x Blue Peter - 'Our Planet Now'
Delphine from Essex won Blue Peter’s ‘Our Planet Now’ competition with this poem, which has been beautifully animated by Aardman. It envisions a world ravaged by climate disaster. The story tells of a girl born in 2099 who must resort to dusty books to learn about what wildlife the planet used to host. Written by an eight-year-old and (10x better than anything I managed at school!) it’s sad to think that if I have any children there is a very real chance they’ll know of tigers the same way we know of dinosaurs. And I LOVE dinosaurs.
Vestiaire Collective - 'Long Live Fashion'
Agency: Droga5 London
Production: Biscuit Filmworks
I assisted Sam Jones (at The Quarry) on this ad! It celebrates ‘pre-loved’ fashion and recycling - even when it comes to the models. It was exciting getting a bit of a behind the scenes look on this! The puppet models made from vintage clothes strutting down the catwalk is 10x more entertaining than all the usual artsy fashion business. The French narrator really carries the ad and the overall message about giving pre-loved clothes a new home is really important - especially considering how the fashion industry accounts for about 8-10% of global carbon emissions.