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Advertising And Global Warming – Prepare To Be Shocked

| Tuesday November 25th, 2008 | 1 Comment

hsbc%203.jpgWhat do you get when an advertising creative is allowed to let loose their creative juices on global warming? Right. The party continues! Glamorous places like New York and Paris are simply re-styled and being submerged under water – something that’s made out to be fun and luxurious. We have boats, after all.


The future fate of New York City was rather graphically imagined by Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai, who took a huge aerial picture of the city and glued it to the bottom of a swimming pool. The stunt is part of a campaign by HSBC, the bank, and its effect is quite amazing. The submerged cityscape hits home with the message on the imminence of global warming. All the fun that the swimmers have gains an eerily literal dimension.
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A lighter yet possibly shocking approach to the dangers of global warming was the entry by Studio Lindfors recently into design competition by the New York City Office of Emergency Management . The project is a hands-on solution design for dealing with future disasters in New York. The ‚ÄòWhat if New York City… Design Competition’ challenged participants to come up with innovative temporary housing ideas. Lindfors’ proposal, aptly named CLOUD CITY, literally takes to the skies.
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“Because of its population density and concentrated infrastructure, the City is not well suited for traditional post-disaster housing, such as mobile homes”, the creators of the project say.
The flying Zeppelin-like objects they designed can be functional in no time – they only have to be ‚Äòplugged in’ to existing utility services. Apparently a team of four workers can get the balloons up and running in about an hour.
Once airborne, the floating homes allow construction crews below to work unimpeded, speeding up the recovery effort. Inflatable homes would be pre-fabricated and stored in warehouses for deployment as required. Each home consists of three basic components: an inflatable bladder, a rigid core, a ladder, another rigid core, and a metal and wood platform.
The inflatable part of the ‘ship’ fills with non-combustible helium. Inside is an open living space walled by the tailored and stitched fabric shell which is made from recycled polyester fabric. Flexible solar panels generate electricity. The core contains an efficient kitchenette and bathroom, along with plumbing and electrical services. The 300sf living space is open, and can be configured in many ways, with up to three bedroom spaces suitable for a family of four.
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Other campaigns involving global warming have been using similarly shocking techniques to attract attention. Diesel’s ‘Global Warming Ready‘ campaign last year, which also featured the Big Apple as submerged, re-styled Paris into a subtropical paradise and blew the Great Wall of China under sandy deserts. Perhaps the inspiration is that the campaign drew on angles from the activist, fashion and advertising worlds — not immediately natural extensions.
The slick models posing in Diesel clothing in hot spots around the globe appear to drive home the message that ‘style goes before everything’ in spite of the overly obvious consequences of this behavior. New Consumer had a problem with Diesel’s style saying it believes it appeals to the worst aspects of human nature – greed and selfishness. The publication thought the campaign was below the belt.
The famous Transcendentalist Felix Adler didn’t know how right he was when he said “We measure our enjoyments by the sum expended”.


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  • http://www.radicalglasgow.me.uk John Couzin

    The West will make all the changes required of climate warming as lomg as it doesn’t interfere with their way of life and their drive for profit.