Shock and Awe Campaign Video: FTW?

Greenpeace”s new campaign against Nestlé”s use of Palm Oil is attention grabbing. So much so that it has already been banned by YouTube and also seems to have had the desired effect on Nestlé.

You should watch the video promoting the campaign which is protesting Nestlé”s involvement in rainforest destruction by needlessly using irresponsibly sourced palm oil in its products. By destroying rainforests palm oil producers are threatening endangered Orang Utans. It”s ruffled poor Nestlé”s feathers who are complaining about buy viagra professional online copyright infringement and persuaded YouTube Viagra female to take it down.

Take a look at the website: take the action and tell me what you think. Greenpeace are trying to spread the word by asking you to download the video and post it to your favourite video sharing site.

People I”ve passed it onto so far tend to recoil but also love it and they”ve immediately told everyone about it. I think it”s a very effective use of video parodying the Have a Break Have a KitKat advertising campaign Nestle have used extensively in the UK. By waking office workers out of their complacency over what they eat, it works as a shocking wake up call.

So far it also seems to have been effective and embarrassed Nestle into releasing a defensive statement suggesting it had changed palm oil suppliers. Greenpeace are continuing the campaign asking for more clarity and for Nestle to drop all their suppliers who source unsustainable palm oil. These shock campaigning tactics sometimes miss the mark, but on this occasion I think are fully FTW!

What do you think, have you seen other great examples of shock tactics working in campaigns? How do you respond to this ad?

Update: Check out Greenpeace”s excellent response to the attempted censorship in the form of an open letter and an excellent imagining of the conversation that might have happened in the company”s headquarters today.
roches xenical

Apps for the Environment

Green iPhone AppsThere are a lot of free iPhone apps that make it easy and (because they’re apps) fun to make more eco-friendly choices — and even some that help you take action to save the planet.  So, if you liked last week’s post about Apps for Democracy, get ready for a treat.


GoodGuide iPhone appYou know you’ll have your phone with you when you’re at the grocery store, so why not use it to make wise purchasing decisions? The folks at have made their product rating service available via iPhone app and SMS to help you find “safe, healthy, and sustainable products.”  The app provides detailed health, environment and social responsibility ratings for more than 50,000 personal care, household chemical, toy, and food products. Just scan a product’s bar code while you’re at the store and see the its rating right there.

Greenpeace Tissue Guide

Greenpeace iPhone app The Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide, developed for iPhone and Android by 3rd Whale, has a narrower focus.  It uses Greenpeace data to identify the brands of paper products that are truly green — and those that are not.  According to the app’s description, “green” brands are those that:

  • Contain 100% overall recycled content
  • Contain at least 50% post-consumer recycled content
  • Are bleached without toxic chlorine compounds

Seafood Watch

Seafood Watch iPhone appThe Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation created the Seafood Watch app to help users make sustainable seafood choices at restaurants and supermarkets at their GPS coordinates. It tells you your best choice, a good alternative, and what to avoid regionally.

Find Green

 Find Green iPhone appAnother app developed for iPhone and Android by 3rd Whale, Find Green relies on a database of more than 60,000 business listings in hundreds of cities across North America to steer you to green business near your GPS coordinates — “everything from yoga studios to bicycle shops to organic restaurants near you.”


iRecycle iPhone has app-ified its recycling database with iRecycle. This app tells you the closest recycling and/or disposal center for some 240 materials, based on your GPS coordinates. With 110,000 such centers in its database, it’s sure to find a nearby location for that stuff in your garage.

GreenSpace Map

GreenSpace Map iPhone appUsing data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, GreenSpace Map lets you find any “Featured Environmental Interests” within a 20-mile radius of your GPS coordinates or entered address. When the EPA says “Featured Environmental Interests” it’s not talking about the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, it’s talking about superfund sites, toxic sites, etc. — things best appreciated from afar.


350 MobileTaking more of an activist approach, and 3rd Whale developed the free 350Mobile app last fall to inform users about climate change and help them find more than 1,500 actions they could participate in around the world on the Day of Action, Oct. 24, 2009.  The app is currently dormant, since its Day of Action has past, but I wanted to include it as an example of how one environmental organization is using apps to organize.

See last week’s related post, Apps for Democracy, which explores apps that make government more transparent.

Subway Ads: 2020 Obama says, ‘I’m sorry’ in climate change ad

This ad greets delegates arriving at the Copenhagen Airport

This ad greets delegates arriving at the Copenhagen Airport

Ads from Greenpeace and the TckTckTck coalition blanket Copenhagen International Airport featuring world leaders apologizing for their failure to act on climate change. The ads show aged leaders in 2020 with the text, “I’m sorry. We could’ve stopped catostrophic climate change…We didn’t.”

Darren sez, “Greenpeace is running a clever ad campaign in the Copenhagen airport in preparation for the Copenhagen climate negotiations that start on Dec. 7. They’re a series of ads featuring Photoshopped images of sad-looking world leaders, apologizing for not addressing climate change when they had the chance. Canada’s Prime Minister looks like the saddest hockey coach in the land.”

Greenpeace: i leader invecchiati e il clima (Thanks, Darren!)
(via boingboing)

The innovative ads are part of a tricky balancing act facing Greenpeace and other NGOs who have doubts that the Copenhagen Climate Conference will successfully produce a, “Fair, ambitious and binding deal.” The organizations must keep up the pressure while balancing the reality of the situation. Greenpeace’s head of media, Ben Stewart explains:

It is very unlikely, come 19 December when leaders go out on the steps with their deal, that they will say “we have failed – sorry, humanity”. Almost whatever happens, they are going to come out and say they have a deal. There is a very good chance it will be greenwash and extremely heavy on spin. The job of Greenpeace will be explaining to the public why this is not a good deal.
(via PR Week)

I head to Copenhagen today. I’ll keep my eyes out, the ads from Oceana and whatever else media madness pops up.

Gordon Brown, UK

Gordon Brown, UK

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil

Stephen Harper, Canada

Stephen Harper, Canada

View all the Photos from Greenpeace.

Climate campaigners work with bloggers to document actions in Barcelona, aliens land (VIDEO)

YouTube – Tcktcktck Campaign Director Ben Margolis talks about the action that has just happened.

There is nothing groundbreaking about this video, but it highlights a “Best Practice,” that many organizations often overlook — explaining your work. This practice actually touches on two of the points in my post, 6 New Media Lessons from FDR and the New Deal. Ben describes the state of play of the climate negotiations and describes what action campaigners took and why it matters. Good work.

There is also good synergy here. The blogger creating these posts is Juliana Russar who is the “Tracker” from Brazil working with Oxfam’s Adopt a Negotiator project, which has enabled bloggers and policy experts to attend climate meetings and track progress. Avaaz, Greenpeace and the Tck Tck Tck campaign are running the action, and Oxfam is supplying the bloggers to cover it.

Juliana grabs one participant from Togo to describe the event and explain that governments are only leaving two options for Copenhagen: no deal, or a bad deal. The audio isn’t great on the flipcam, especially with a bunch of alarm clocks in the background, but you get the idea.

Finally, read this post by Kevin Grandia that puts the whole action in context.

Campaigners in Barcelona go in search of 'Climate Leaders'

Campaigners in Barcelona go in search of 'Climate Leaders'