I would say that the ongoing anti-smoking campaign is the most well-known, as it’s a longtime issue that addresses both health and environmental hazards. However, many environmental and nonprofit causes come up with highly memorable and relevant ads. Check out some of the blog posts on InventorSpot.com (see link below for a good one), as well as the interesting feature article from TheDailyGreen.com (also below).
The leaders in green ad campaigns are Greenpeace, and the World Wildlife fund. Some of the more innovative ads are in the first link.
One of the most famous environmental ads of all time must be “The Crying Indian,” which features an actor playing an American Indian. He rows a canoe onto a polluted beach, and sees a motorist throw trash out a car window at his feet. he then turns to the camera, a tear rolling down his cheek, as a narrator talks about those who care about the environment and those who don’t. First aired on Earth Day, 1971, it might be a little cheesy to today’s viewers, but it had a big impact on some people who had never considered such things before.
A more kid-friendly and long-running ad campaign is Woodsy, the “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” owl. Another product of the seventies, this bird and his slogan is still occasionally used to prevent litter. Again, it introduced some kids to environmentalism for the first time, although many older people found the message repetitive and preachy.
The PETA ad campaigns have certainly been making an impact for the past few years. PETA’s intentionally controversial ads and demonstrations have been influential. Their effectiveness, taste, methods and impact are debatable but PETA seems uncannily able to attract the attention (both negative and positive) of the public and the media. Frequently using naked ladies and blatantly comparing the Holocaust to the treatment of animals will certainly get your organization some kind of notoriety.
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