11 November, 2021
It’s been encouraging to see climate change dominate the mainstream news agenda over the last few weeks, with updates, commentaries and analysis coming out left right and centre.
And also heartening to see climate change much better represented in media advertising. It’s rare to see such a concerted shift in the focus of what businesses target us with as consumers – the weekend papers’ adverts were almost exclusively climate focused. With climate change in the spotlight, there has been a scramble for businesses to show that they are taking the problem seriously by showcasing existing commitments or announcing new plans.
So far, so good. But we couldn’t help noticing how consistently corporate they felt: much more like a press statement or list of the facts than a tool for inspiring and engaging people around a business’ actions. We missed the creativity businesses and brands tend to put into their communication of everything else. Particularly absent given the urgent need to make one pronouncement stand out from another.
Also missing was any focus on building understanding or decoding complex concepts. This is striking given that recent research has found that there is little understanding of the concepts at the heart of addressing climate change. For example, over three quarters (77%) of UK residents wouldn’t be able to explain to a friend what net zero is.
There is a clear gap that businesses need to bridge: to help people understand the problems, showcase their solutions creatively, and bring to life the actions that will help address them.
Will the next big memorable ad campaign will be a climate change one? We’re hoping so.
By Patrick Bapty