For many, saving the environment is much like saving for retirement: it’s generally acknowledged as important, but tends to be a second-order priority behind politics, business, and the day-to-day hassles of everyday life.
We understand that beef farming is bad for the atmosphere and that it’s cruel to animals, but we like eating cheeseburgers and ribeye steak too much to stop. We know that driving petrol and diesel cars pollutes the air, but we don’t want to add another 20 minutes to our commute.
The point of all this isn’t to make anyone feel bad. It’s simply to illustrate that getting anyone to care about ecological issues in a non-superficial way is extremely challenging.
If the last decade of climate change debate has proven anything, it’s that throwing facts and statistics at people doesn’t work. Here’s where video can help – it can convey important information in a visually engaging way, make dry material interesting, and crucially, it takes up less of the viewer’s time than independently researching issues themselves.
As a video production company that values sustainability, we love environmental videos that send a strong, clear message in a creative way. With this in mind, here are a few of our favourites.
World Pangolin Day – UN Environment
The first half of this video explains what a pangolin is and why they are so unique, featuring some great footage of a baby pangolin snuggling up to its mum. But in the second half, it abruptly and purposefully changes the tone.
You see, there’s demand for the flesh, scales, and even foetuses of these creatures – to the point where a million are stolen illegally every year. The video shows pangolins trapped in nets, peeking out of boxes, and generally struggling and suffering, in agonising close up shots.
In a little under one minute, you go from not knowing what a pangolin is to desperately wanting to protect as many of them as possible.
Rang-tan – Greenpeace and Iceland
This video from Greenpeace and Iceland is conceptually impressive: the cutesy, hand-drawn animation provides instant, distinctive visual style, and the rhyming, children’s-book nature of the script supplies an ironic counterpoint to the horrors of palm oil manufacture, which is destroying the natural habitat of orangutans. It has great production values and a strong message.
Of course, it also helps that it got banned. This resulted in widespread media coverage above and beyond what it would have gotten through a conventional airing. Under the right circumstances, voicing a strong opinion in your video can pay off. A good video production company will help guide your messaging, so that your video achieves its aims.
Open Your Eyes – Plastic Pollution Coalition
This video works because it’s really all about Jeff Bridges – an actor who pretty much everybody likes, here in full Lebowski mode – asking the viewer to stop using plastic and trashing the earth in his famously coarse-yet-mellifluous voice. It’s a simple message, and it has exactly the right spokesperson.
Plastic is dangerous, so buy a reusable bottle. You don’t want to disappoint The Dude.
Earth – Lil Dicky
This music video from Lil Dicky is a star-studded affair, featuring Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, and honestly, a bunch of other people we’re too old to be aware of. But the celebrities are incidental to the video’s real value: which draws attention to vulnerable species with high-quality animation, positivity, and profane humour.
What makes it really work, in our estimation, is that it’s not about what human beings have destroyed – it’s about what human beings can still protect, and why they should protect it. It’s an important message to keep in mind this World Environment Day.
Need help creating your next environmental campaign video? Get in touch with our MD, Jamie.