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Eco Terrorism vs Vinnie Jones and Porn: Which Would You Rather Watch?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 | Our Philosophy | No Comments

Kudos to the British Heart Foundation for their Hard and Fast video campaign starring Vinnie Jones.

Aimed at educating the general public on the best way to perform CPR, the video sends up Jones’ typecast gangster persona by making a Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels spoof in which the former footballer – flanked by two blokes who look like they’re appearing in the video in order to fund their way through Bouncer School – resuscitates a ‘geezer’ using only his hands because “you only kiss your Missus on the lips”…

The campaign went viral, racking up more than a million views on YouTube and earning a string of press coverage. By embracing celebrity culture, keeping the message simple and adding a twist of humour into the mix (the soundtrack for the video is the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive), the British Heart Foundation unlocked a mass audience for a message that without the help of Jones and his burly companions could have been pretty worthy and dull.

Compare and contrast with some of the eco movement’s attempts to engage a mass audience. Treehugger website recently hailed the fact that five ‘eco movies’ have been shortlisted in the Best Documentary category for this year’s Oscars as a sign of the subject’s rising popularity. Those films are: If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (a tale about eco terrorists), Battle for Brooklyn, Jane’s Journey, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, and Project Nim. How many have you seen? How many of them have you even heard of? Thought not…

At the time of writing the You ube trailers for those movies have a total of 82,046 views between them. That’s more than 10 times less than what Vinnie managed on his own. Where the British Heart Foundation was brave enough to put its tongue firmly in its cheek to communicate an important message, too many in the green movement lack the boldness to make content that might appeal to people who have different interests to them (i.e. things other than climate change).

PETA, the US-based campaign for the ethical treatment of animals, has a history of taking a more populist approach to getting their message across. Much like Global Cool, the climate change campaign I work for, PETA has used celebrity association to engage the mainstream with their work. Their latest campaign will see them take their message into the world of pornography with the launch of a new .xxx domain version of their website. Users of the site will be forced to watch an animal being skinned before they get to see a celebrity in the buff.

Whether anyone will still be in the, er, ‘mood’ for doing whatever it is that they do while looking at naked ladies on the internet (I couldn’t possibly comment) once they’ve seen an animal being liberated of its fur is up for debate. It’s unlikely to win PETA any Oscars, that’s for sure. But common consensus (and a load of search data from Google, no doubt) certainly suggests that the potential audience for PETA’s message is significantly higher in the porn world than it is in the eco documentary world.

Eco terrorists and those who make documentaries about them should take note.

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Global Cool’s new website

Monday, July 5th, 2010 | Global Cool | 2 Comments

GC home pageWe launched a redesigned website for the Global Cool campaign couple of weeks ago.

The old website had been in existence for around 18 months and played a crucial role in establishing Global Cool and the work we do, particularly through our campaigns.

But Global Cool is a rapidly evolving organisation. We are constantly reassessing how we can best use the tools at our disposal to reduce carbon emissions.

In recent months we have been trying to get better at continuing to talk with our audience (or our friends as we prefer to call them) about our key messages – public transport, flight-free holidays, home energy use and recycling – once an initial campaign period is over.

To do this, we have turned the Global Cool website into an online magazine, moving away from the more traditional campaigning/charity website set-up. A magazine site not only allows us to carry several strands of content in addition to the main campaign, it also better reflects the needs and interests of our users.

All of Global Cool’s work is built on the notion that ‘Now People’, the segment of society we target, are not interested in climate change, and that the only way to get them to change their behaviour is to market climate-friendly behaviours to them in the same way as the commercial world does. Therefore it makes sense for us to carry our message via a medium that Now People recognise: a fun magazine site that talks about fashion, music, travel, sport, gadgets and lifestyle, rather than a charity website that talks about climate change, global warming and carbon.

The changes we have made to the website also reflect feedback from our audience via our surveys and focus groups. We hope that the new site will inspire more people to be greener by providing a richer experience for people who reach us whether through search engines or via our social media, PR and experiential activity.

You can visit the new Global Cool site here and we welcome any feedback in the comments below.

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We run Global Cool, the only online magazine in the UK truly inspiring the mainstream to live greener

We create content about music, fashion, celebrity and lifestyle trends. We use this content to inspire people normally turned off by climate change to lead greener lives. We reached more than 200,000 people in 2011 and we don't preach to the converted. In fact, 93% of our audience say we are the only green organisation they engage with.

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