Posted by Abe Sauer on October 5, 2010 10:00 AM
It seems difficult to believe that a public service ad in the fight against obesity equating feeding your children fast food with giving them heroin could be outdone in just a week. But let's hear it for the 10:10 campaign, which has created an ad where those who don't comply with a drive to reduce carbon emissions are blown into bloody pieces (above).
Up next, a literacy council commercial depicting those not interested in reading books flailing around, skin melting off, in a fire of burning books.
Granted, the campaign (wonderfully, er, executed by Four Weddings and a Funeral director Richard Curtis) is already bringing a lot of attention to the 10:10 cause. The attention might not even be that negative within younger demographics accustomed to extreme violence in everything they see (maybe itself its own cause in need of an ad).
Billed as a film, the 10:10 PSA stars The X-Files' Gillian Anderson, together with Tottenham Hotspurs players past and present - including Peter Crouch, Ledley King and David Ginola - with music donated by Radiohead.
Outcry over the web video has already drawn an "nopology" from 10:10, a group pushing people to cut personal carbon emissions by 10% on October 10. In an early statement, the group responded: "We 'killed' five people to make No Pressure - a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change." Later it admitted, "Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn." (Sony also issued an apology, as the New York Times notes.)
One thing to learn is that these scorched earth tactics may work for PETA, an organization with a black and white goal of getting people to eat less meat. But when it comes to campaigns that require social cooperation and compromise, threats and ultimatums are not the answer. People need a positive reason to feel good about joining or they will resent the entire endeavor.