There’s an Orangutan in my bedroom and I don’t know what to do…

By / November 13, 2018 / / 0 Comments

With the holiday season fast approaching, it often brings about a time for reflection and personal contemplation. We review family traditions and our own values, as we feel hopeful the New Year will bring a certain renewal and time for change. Private wish lists are made during this reflective thought process. Often our mind turns to those less fortunate during what can be considered a very lonely time of year. In essence, it is a season when consumerism is ramped up yet more powerful messages are also being told. People are becoming more conscious of their actions and how things are being promoted. There is a code of ethics where consumers are consciously awakening their senses to make better life choices.

With promotion there can be conflict and politics can get in the way. A prime example of this is the latest Christmas campaign from Iceland which is being labeled “too political” and therefore banned. The food firm from Iceland chose a Greenpeace animation to promote how the impact of using palm oil on the environment has dire effects and therefore Iceland has banned all use of it in their products. They wanted to promote their commitment and spread a clear message.

This beautifully animated piece at first glance seems very sweet and innocent in approach, in essence the underlining core message hits hard: our human actions are hurting the rainforest and its surrounding species. It cleverly depicts how our actions are affecting today’s and tomorrow’s generations and it’s a cry for help towards consumer awareness. My interpretation is: the orphaned orangutan represents the now and the little girl represents our future actions. We must take responsibility for how we are treating the environment and seek a change. A simple message yet a very heartfelt and meaningful approach especially around the holiday season.

Sadly, it was not cleared by Clearcast who validates adverts according to UK Code of Broadcast Advertising. Because the advertisement’s origins came from Greenpeace, deemed “a body whose objects are wholly or mainly a political nature” this breeches the prohibition on political advertising and the ad was therefore pulled. A sad fact when essentially a simple truth is being veiled. Thanks to social media since Friday the ad has been widely shared, and the world is slowly gaining access and able to make their own opinions on the matter.

For non-profit organizations, storytelling is valuable as it gets to the very heart of the matter. People are interested in factual, not dormant overviews nor over the top emotion which can shadow the realistic nature of things. Simple facts become essential tools to understanding. Iceland’s banned TV Christmas ad does just that, it tells the truth. People who support and feel strongly for certain causes share a passion in supporting these truths. It’s what any foundation strives to fulfill: to create open and honest exchange with its public without restrictions.

This holiday season, find your voice and support the truths that you hold dear. It’s the greatest gift we could share.

Photo credit: Iceland’s Banned TV Christmas Advert… Say hello to Rang-tan. #NoPalmOilChristmas

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