Columbia’s ambient idea

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This surely is Cannes Gold material. As an ambient idea, you have to celebrate the creativity and craft involved. Outdoor gear brand Columbia and Prolam Y&R have created this billboard against the facade of a building in Chile. The headline reads, ‘The air cooling your home, is heating the world’ – the visual, juxtaposed with the real air-conditioning units of the building combines to create a powerful message.


View a hi-res image here.

While this may win metals at award functions and garner positive response overall, haven’t we seen enough of these ‘raising awareness’ creatives for public service messages? Global warming, harmful effects of smoking, drunken driving are all issues which are high on awareness quotient. I feel public service ads are effective only if they force the reader to take some action (like in the Bell Bajao campaign) – everyone knows that global warming is an issue that needs to be addressed. Yes, there is a tangential reference to what an individual can do – but it is not action oriented. The take out is that ‘the AC’s cooling my home have some side effects’. But apparently in Santiago, living in a high rise building would be unbearable without air conditioning. So, what would they want the residents of the building or the target audience to do? Turn off the AC’s for a while? The whole day? Replace AC’s with some alternate form of cooling? Without such specific action, I feel that this is just a great piece of creative execution. Compare this with Nedbank’s solar powered billboard which won the Outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes 2007.

Which one worked for you? Any thoughts on public service ads in general and the Columbia hoarding in particular?

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