While there are mountains and mountains of scientific research and literature on human beings’ impact on our planet, in terms of resource exhaustion, pollution, global warming, deforestation and habitat destruction, and animal cruelty and rights abuse, most people manage to largely ignore it. Creatively constructed print and television advertisements however, are more captivating and tend to affect a lot more people. Here is a collection of 29 such disturbingly creative advertisements from 5 different organizations trying to spread awareness and make a change – guerrilla style marketing for social justice and humanitarian causes.
They Weren’t Born to be Worn
For over 70 years now SAFE has been the voice for all animals, helping expose animal cruelty and abuse as well as fighting against animal testing across the world. The organization mainly uses public awareness campaigns (and advertisements) and political lobbying to expose and question the needless use of animals in cruel experiments and commercial exploitation. The ads above specifically target the latter, provoking questions about the use of animals as scarves, boots and other leather goods, and so on.
Stop the Chopping
2008 was a great year for WWF as well as forest conservation. The organization was able to convince over 60 governments to sign a pact to work towards zero net deforestation by the year 2020. They were able to protect over 1 million hectares of forests including tracts of land in the Amazon and Congo. The advertisements above address the issue of habitat loss due to deforestation which directly leads to endangerment and eventual extinction of species of animals.
Same Story, Different Ending
Greenpeace’s ’storytelling’ campaign targets parents and children and aims to spread awareness of increasingly important issues such as deforestation, oil spills, and irresponsible consumerism and pollution by depicting the consequences of our actions in various popular fairy tales. Imagine the future you’re creating for your children by the actions you take today. When they tell the same stories to your grandchildren, the little mermaid might not find her prince charming, the ugly duckling won’t have time to turn into a beautiful swan, and little red riding hood will be a sitting target for the big bad wolf. Though they use fiction to get the point across, this is not a story, this might be our future.
You Can Help. Stop Global Warming
Similar to the ’stop deforestation’ campaign, the ’stop global warming’ campaign also focuses on habitat loss but this time due to man-made global warming. The campaign, which reads ‘you can help, stop global warming’, urges people to prevent ecological imbalances by curbing irresponsible behavior such as keeping electronics like televisions, stereos, and computers running even when you’re not using them. The imagery used draws parallels between animals losing their homes (penguins, polar bears, and seals – some of the most at-risk) and human beings who lose their homes due to natural disasters, etc., and are forced to live on urban streets as homeless individuals.
Diesel – Global Warming Ready
Diesel’s campaign to spread awareness of global warming is stylish and provocative, a little absurd and perhaps even thought-provoking. The campaign focuses specifically on people and places, using popular tourist destinations (cities and landmarks) including Rio, London, New York, Paris, and so on, and shows what the places might look like if global warming goes unchecked. Though not scientifically accurate in terms of the actual impact that global warming would have on each location, the ads are nonetheless powerful in their message. A desert surrounding the great wall, tropical gardens in Paris, London and New York submerged under water, and Macaws in Venice, how much worse could it get? While it is hard to take the Diesel campaign entirely seriously, it still packs quite a punch.