One of the side effects of lying in a recliner since Wednesday recovering from a left knee scope is that you get to watch a bunch of TV. A group that dominated ad placement in my hydrocodone haze was the ThisIsReallity.org folks. They have a funny ad that reveals the myths of “clean coal.” But they only have one ad, and I bet I saw it a hundred-and-nine times.
Today’s Huffington Post has a nice piece on the campaign.
What I like about the outreach effort is that it’s simple, irreverent, funny, and has a yellow canary as its icon (You know, the canary in the coal mine is the first thing to keel over when methane or carbon monoxide gets out of whack, warning the miners to get the hell out). If that isn’t enough, the designer made the canary’s eyes little cartoon “X’s”, suggesting impending death without having to show the bird claws-up. There’s still time! Nicely done, ThisIsReality.org people.
The 30-second spot features a hard-hatted, Ron Howard knock-off engineer that does a brilliant job of describing the incredible “clean coal” technology that surrounds him, even though he’s just stumbling around in the desert. Very funny. The spot begs the question of big coal, “What, do you think we’re stupid?” Then they direct you to the website.
The Flash-based website launches with the same spot you just saw a hundred-and-nine times on cable. I wish they had thought that through a bit more and had a payoff from the TV spot. I would like to have seen the culprit in action: a coal fire plant puffing away. Or how about the canary singing at the top of its lungs and slowly gasping for breath?, Yeah, that would’ve been cool.
Anywho, colors of black/gray, yellow, and white (presumably signifying coal, imperiled bird, life) are the only colors on the site. It’s a bit hard to read, but dark and powerful in implying the coal-burning menace. The facts are pretty straight forward.
“Burning coal is the leading source of global warming pollution.”
I also found it interesting that the two PPC campaigns that pop up when you search for “Clean Coal” are these guys and their/our nemesis: AmericasPower.org, “The Reality of Clean Coal.” And, as of this writing, Chevron dropped in.
All in all, a great campaign that does an excellent job of simply drawing attention to the problem of coal burning powerplants. They’re big polluters and there does not appear to be a solution in sight.