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The Goods: ‘Carbon skid marks’

10 November, 2023

A new advert on Channel 4 has been turning heads this week – depicting the business and political elite in a new light: in their ‘carbon skid marked’ underpants. We’ll let the video show you what this looks like.

Why, you may wonder? It’s to advertise the channel’s new season of climate programming, comprising The Big Climate Fight, Chicken vs Beef: The Big Switch, The Great Climate Scandal and Chris Packham: Is it Time to Break the Law?

But, as Channel 4 describes, it’s also to make a point. The channel’s purpose is to ‘create change through entertainment’ and it’s known for living this by tackling issues head-on. The recent advert is testament to that, which the creatives behind it accurately describe as an ‘unignorable visual for an unignorable subject’ and is intended to make audiences ask, ‘are those with power doing enough to combat the climate crisis?’.

It’s certainly a direct challenge and particularly commendable given the recent grappling between the Tories and Channel 4, on the topic of climate change and generally. And in a year that is almost certainly going to be the warmest in 125,000 years, with profits for fossil fuel companies soaring recently, and the UK Government rolling back on green pledges and pressing on with opening the first UK coal mine in 30 years, it feels like a fair challenge too.

Whatever you think of the advert – genius or repulsive – it’s inspiring to see such a direct and creative call for action, and we’ll look forward to the programmes reaching our screens soon.

By Patrick Bapty

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