insights, ironies and idiosyncrasies in communication and design

from the wide, wide world and the world wide web

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Don't just do something, stand there.

The vacuum of collective global anxiety has been filled to the brim by such colossal economic worry that our terminal fear over our environment it seems has been entirely displaced – even though the two issues are of course inextricably linked (by oil for one at least) – but the news is though that that has all changed now and in the shape of CNBC's Green Your Routine campaign hope has sprung forth.

And what makes this piece of communication so special is not just that the message is deadly simple or that it's based on a killer insight, but that it's totally indelible and entirely alive and well and living in the solution. (All valid additions to Scamp's slogan list.)

So like the campaign I'm praising, I'm going to big up the solution (in my title and image, which is quite a departure from the initial sketch that was this post originally – a bitch about another campaign, Think Green).

Firstly though, Think Green – a campaign that my friend and fellow blogger, Charles Frith has already made reference to astutely (here) – and a campaign that is the antithesis of GYR. It's a trendily-designed but ultimately wayward piece of rubbish with a core proposition that is dead – because asks it's audience to think and not act. The one execution I saw started with a vague comparison (that a large tree was equivalent to a 12,000-BTU air conditioning unit) before then limply moving on to suggest the reader plant trees. There is such a massive gulf between message and action (unless it was an ambient piece of course and I missed a dozen spades and a pile of earth and a packet of seedlings), that the thing must have just been conceived to earn the brand behind it social credit. (Ads from self-serving brands posing as concerned corporates may quite possibly be part of the reason why the green cause has trailed off.) Ironically, this is a total exercise in wastefulness.

Back to (part of) the solution. It's clearly in everything we do – as GYR tells us – but perhaps it's also in what we don't do. Perhaps the earth is telling us something and the economic headlock we're in is the earth's way of keeping us from doing too much. Perhaps we should be doing more by doing less.


Charles Frith said...

I have a corker of a post coming up shortly. Inspired by you. So expect visitors ;)

Rupert James said...

Thanks a lot, Charles. Look forward to the traffic.

Charles Frith said...

Finally up and posted!