As unrelated as it sounds, this topic is completely related to the advertising industry and completely relevant too. ‘Climate Change’ seems like a topic meant only at G20 Summits but there’s something really alarming that the advertising industry has to focus on while we are talking about such a serious topic. So, what is it anyway? How is an advertising and climate change related? This article will talk about this relationship and how advertising can make a global difference to our planet.
Fun Fact: Believe it or not, the internet accounts for 2.3% of global CO2e emissions globally. That’s equivalent to the total carbon footprint generated by aviation fuel consumption globally.
The Curious Case of Energy Consumption
Here’s a little problem. Environmentalists, nature crusaders, tell us all to consume less energy, use electricity consciously, be considerate towards trees and animals, use less paper, and so on. When it comes to advertising, they tell us a story that’s totally opposite of what these people promote. Advertising tells us to drive more cars, consume more data (of a specific service provider) at affordable tariffs, use “energy-efficient” products of a specific brand, and so on. Now, the consumer is in a dilemma. Buying a vehicle that runs on fossil fuel or going the eco-friendly way and opting for an electric vehicle that again, consumes energy of a different kind?
What’s advertising got to do with all this? As per a recent study, an average webpage without ads would take less than 3 seconds to download. However, if the same webpage is loaded with multiple ads, it could take more than 9 seconds to download. The time taken in downloading that page is the amount of energy that online advertising consumes. Over time, this format has gotten even better, experience-wise (regardless of energy consumption). The inclusion of rich graphics, videos, animations, and GIFs has made it a heavier and even more time and energy-consuming affair. Though these ads occupy a meager area in the user’s display, the exhaustive computing process that the CPU goes through is largely missed by many advertisers, hence, making them the abettors of climate change.
The Global Outcry over Advertising is real
Just like India has ASCI (Advertising Standard Council of India) that regulates, monitors and approves advertising that goes out in the media, there are many other regulatory authorities worldwide. An initiative called European Citizens Initiative (ECI) was launched recently in Europe by more than 30 organisations calling out for a ban on fossil fuel advertising. If this initiative receives a million verified signatures, European Union is obliged to respond.
No Awards on a Dead Planet
A Greenpeace activist and a former Cannes Lion winner and juror, Gustav Martner, stormed the recent Cannes Festival with a placard that read “No Awards on a Dead Planet” which was a global appeal to ban fossil fuel advertising. He was however banned from the festival, but he made sure that the message was received loud & clear. There are very few initiatives that promote zero emissions in ad placement cycles. The number of digital hoardings in the country today is witnessing a sharp rise and it is evident that we are getting caught in the labyrinth of a “Progressive” mindset.
While advertising is the most powerful tool any company can use to promote their products or services, it can very well be used to promote the well-being of the planet using the same creativity that’s used for commercial gain. People have come to realize that the CSR campaigns run by companies are a sham and most advertisers do not walk the talk. We have been successful in banning tobacco (or at least officially issuing a statutory warning sign on the products). The same needs to be done for fossil fuels or plastic usage.
At 3 Dots Design Pvt. Ltd., we believe that conscious advertising should be the need of the hour. Though it is not as easy as it seems, we have to at least begin by considering the global impact of the little innovative steps we take towards making our clients happy through our 360-degree range of services. Being one of the best ad agencies in Pune, we are constantly seeking ideas that change the way the world thinks and this would be the best time to do something about the planet that we all live on. If you wish to know more about who we are or what we do, please visit www.3dotsdesign.in or get in touch with us at email@example.com so that we can spark a conversation about creating a ‘conscious’ impact for your brand.