MediaCorp pulls plug on ‘Saving Gaia'
Singapore - MediaCorp has taken the 'Saving Gaia' TVC off-air after receiving unfavourable comments from its viewers after running it for eight days on all its terrestrial channels with the exception of Kid's Central.
The media owner is intending to persist on the campaign, as is currently tweaking the creative while paying heed to the comments and recommendations made by viewers.
The ad featured a childlike doll being exposed to environmental ills such as pollution, carbon emissions through the introduction of key pollutants like tar, haze, and smoke. In its climax, to illustrate the issue of deforestation a chainsaw slits the doll in half, after which the scene faded to reveal the face of a frowning child.
Marketing contacted several agencies to comment on the pull-out and the effectiveness of the ad; many were unfamiliar with the ad or declined comment.
Paul Anderson, ECD of Ogilvy RedCard Singapore, gamely took up the issue and said, “Everyone is talking about it so it has certainly gotten people's attention. I think the message and the way it is delivered is appropriate. People need to know the consequences of destroying earth. It's a tough topic to get people to face so I can see why they used the shocking imagery.”
According to a report in MediaCorp-owned daily Today, the ad's creator Alan Seah from MediaCorp's creative services department said he felt the gravity of the issue required a commercial that was "hard-hitting", and hopes the ad would get people to think about the situation at hand and rouse viewers to act on the problems.
"The poignant message is that the current pollution and destruction we are wreaking on Mother Earth is something we are wreaking on ourselves and our future generations. It is our hope that we can incite viewers to take a positive step towards greener lifestyle choices. This can only be done when viewers are made aware of the gravity of the issues at hand," Florence Lian, SVP of marketing and creative services, said.
Created and produced by MediaCorp without the help of external ad agencies, the TVC was deemed as "distasteful", "scary" and "shocking" by viewers. The gory ad was part of its through-the-line "Saving Gaia" campaign, a social responsibility initiative, aimed at addressing global environmental concerns.
“If it was less shocking no one would have taken notice of it and it would have passed as a ship in the night. The last thing MediaCorp would want to do is get bad PR when their initial intention was only to do good, so I can understand why they pulled it. The ad is already doing it's job. If people could only put as much time into listening to the message the ad was trying to convey as they did about finding fault with it, we would all be living in a better place,” Ogilvy RedCard's Anderson said.
The other fringe events and activities reported by Marketing on 5 June will continue. The original ad is still available online and a MediaCorp spokesperson says there are no plans to take it down.
In just two short weeks, the 'Saving Gaia Pledge' has garnered close to 3,000 pledges, and 'The Gaia Life Challenge' received hundreds of entries.
- Ogilvy Redcard
- Mediacorp Pte Ltd
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