Not that long ago, people who supported Greenpeace were seen as sandal-wearing, tree-hugging hippies who could do with a good wash. Of course, now the planet actually is on its knees, everyone is taking them slightly more seriously.
And this week sees the launch of the organisation’s latest drive to inspire a new generation of climate activists, with a star-studded cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop, as part of a new campaign devised by long-term agency Mother.
The film was created by Grammy-winning producer Fraser T Smith (who has worked with Stormzy, Adele, Dave and Drake) and rapper Avelino, with a short film executive-produced by Steve McQueen, directed by his protege Samona Olanipekun of Lammas Park productions and featuring actor Will Poulter.
Designed as a contemporary fable about being young in the world today, the song features lyrics from Avelino, alongside instrumentation from jazz organisation Tomorrow’s Warriors and vocals from the House Gospel Choir.
It is a call to action for people worried about their future and the state of the planet, and a rallying cry for those who dream of a better tomorrow.
Airing on the big screens at Glastonbury Festival’s main stages throughout the weekend, the project’s branding will also be used on-site, including Glasto’s tote bags reading: “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”.
The film – all 7 minutes and 23 seconds of it – takes a stark look at the state of the world and all of our roles in it. Kicking off in a vibrant party, the film shows a throng of older, rich people (representing greedy corporations) quaffing bubbly and stuffing their faces with canapes and largely ignoring the hospitality staff who are waiting on them – and the band. As the party builds and starts to spin out of control so the music increases in tempo courtesy of Avelino. The washing up piles higher and higher in the kitchen, the towels pile higher and higher in the washrooms and the party-goers get more raucous.
But this is the darkness before the dawn. As the madness accelerates, one by one the partygoers are shaken awake as they realise what is happening and start to see the damage they are causing. Onscreen text states: “The world is suffering some of its deadliest ever heatwaves, wild fires, floods and typhoons. Meanwhile, oil companies are enjoying record profits. It’s not too late to stop the fossil fuel party.” A young spoken word artist draws the film to its finale with a poem as the onscreen text concludes: “For a better tomorrow, take action today. Add your name.”
Greenpeace UK executive director Areeba Hamid said: “When you look at the state of the world that older generations have wrought, oil companies partying like there’s no tomorrow, politicians watching as our house is on fire, it can feel overwhelming.
“But awareness and resolve to save our planet, to save lives and livelihoods, has never been stronger. People all over the world are incredibly worried about their future, but they hold enormous power. This film is a message of hope: that demanding a better tomorrow is not only possible, but critical.
“We’re so proud of this incredible collaboration, to get to work with such a talented and passionate group to reimagine Fleetwood Mac’s iconic Don’t Stop and bring the song to a new generation.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, first things first, let’s be clear this is not really an ad, it is more of a film as it runs for over 7 minutes, so if you are expecting short, sharp and punchy messaging you could be disappointed. It is a classic slow-burner.
Having said that, it is also highly effective in getting the message across without being preachy or condescending. Then again, maybe these days we are all sandal-wearing, tree-hugging hippies who could do with a good wash.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘be the change’ 10 out of 10