No Pressure – 10:10 campaign goes psycho

I was just saying the other day that more adverts should contain elements of threat. “Buy this or else” has been a relatively underused marketing technique. Franny Armstrong, Richard Curtis, and the 10:10 campaign team then immediately provided an object lesson in how to spectacularly fail to make this work.

The failure is ironic, because climate change is actually a threat that will cost lives. This should sort of work, but fails in its primary aim: making people laugh. It’s just not very funny.

The theme is that hippy child-indoctrinating teachers and pointy-haired middle-management will literally murder you for not taking part in their climate change project. They are killing people for failure to obey.

Mr. Creosote ate himself to death. It was funny because the consequences were the results of his own actions – that final mint! In the version directed by Curtis and Armstrong, Mr. Creosote would be exploded with dynamite by a sneering Mr. Motivator (is that still a valid pop-culture reference?) for being overweight.

But the biggest reason for the failure is probably the genuinely shaken, shell-shocked look on the face of the schoolgirl, and the horrified moans of the gore-splattered employees. Too realistic!

There’s also the undercurrent that environmentalists actually think people should die. Adam Bell blogged only a few days about the “rise of the Environ-Mentalists” – people who seem to actually think that a mass genocide is the most effective way of dealing with climate change. Given that some actual environmentalists do think like this, maybe this is a bit too far into wish-fulfillment territory.

10:10 already withdrew the advert, deciding that they “missed the mark”.

But for a good example of how adverts can successfully use threat, see this Egyptian Cheese advert:

Richard Curtis is now officially less funny than Egyptian cheese marketers. If he’d lifted the panda idea directly, it would have probably been pretty good. Pandas are affected by Climate Change, right? Maybe swap the panda for a Polar Bear.

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Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 12:23 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Whoops. I am actually disgusted by the Panda cheese video, too.

  2. There’s much more here: (content warning fake gore and some realistic violence)

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=7C79DEF1EE25E880

    Included:

    10:10 spoofs,

    classic green extremist video shorts

    Pachauri saying he wants to use children to shame adults into taking climate action

    Note: interview of Richard Curtis includes realistic violence

  3. This is a failure because the people watching can’t believe they would do this, and now are even more suspicious.


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