Channel 4’s in-house creative agency 4creative has taken the concept of a carbon footprint to disturbing new heights with an attention-grabbing ad using ‘carbon skidmarks’ to mark the start of its Climate Change season.
Set to feature in cinemas, online and OOH spaces from 6 November, the advert – directed by GRANDMAS and produced by Academy Films – calls out CEOs of big businesses and politicians for failing to do enough to reduce their impact on the planet.
The campaign features the business and political elite celebrating their elaborate lifestyles and soaring profits as they dance around in carbon-stained underpants.
It builds upon the premise that individuals are often asked to make behavioural changes to reduce their carbon footprint, instead calling out the actions and inactions of those in positions of power.
Creative directors for 4 Creative Andy Vasey and Dan Warner said the campaign creates an “unignorable visual for an unignorable subject”, adding that “people are recycling their backsides off but are people in power doing enough in return?”
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The ad opens with suited businessmen sipping champagne on a private jet before ripping off their trousers and twerking in oil-stained white underpants – representing their carbon skidmark.
They then move to the boardroom where an executive boasts of soaring fossil fuel profits – which kickstarts the oily twerking once more. The final scene takes place in a political debating chamber where papers are strewn in disarray as politicians punch the air, while celebrating and dancing in their underpants.
A voiceover says, “We’re worried about our carbon footprint. But are those in power doing enough about their carbon skidmark? The Climate Change season, coming soon on Channel 4”.
“When it comes to climate change the focus is often put on individuals to try harder which can lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety and helplessness, especially among younger generations,” said Channel 4 head of brand campaigns Nic Moran.
“At Channel 4 we believe in our mission to challenge with purpose as we ask our audience ‘are those with power doing enough to combat the climate crisis?’”