The debate surrounding climate change has become a divisive issue. As activists and deniers battle it out on the world stage, advertisers are beginning to use the public concern of a possible environmental catastrophe to their advantage.
Last month, OVO Energy, the UK’s largest independent renewable energy supplier released a powerful ad campaign – a one-minute long video about climate change and their solution to the ever-growing problem that global society faces.
The video clip features a mass of electrical goods sprawled across a beach with commentary from mainstream media reporters denying that climate change exists, accompanied by a dramatised soundtrack in the background.
But perhaps the most effective and provocative part of the advert was their decision to include an excerpt from 1976 film ‘The Network’ – which infuriated news broadcaster Howard Beale rants about his views on mass media, contrived news reporting and a decaying society.
I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot — I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
This particular quote is ranked at #19 in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie quotations in cinema. And the speech, which is a powerful appeal to emotion, is featured in other politicised documentaries such as the Netflix hit Zeitgeist, which also makes use of emotive rhetoric and subliminal calls-to-action.
The advert is rounded off with another call to action that reads ‘It’s time to power your life differently. Switch to 100% renewable energy from OVO’.
Here’s the original clip from Howard Beale’s final speech in 1976 film The Network: