Heroes enlisted for climate change campaign

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WELLINGTON, Monday: The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority, agency Clemenger BBDO and animation house Assembly have collaborated to bring “a powerful new speech to life”.

The main thrust of the campaign is a 90sec tvc featuring short clips of aspirational quotes from inspirational figures (and it’s quite a list!) …

… Albert Einstein. Amelia Earhart. Anne Frank. Carl Sagan. Dame Whina Cooper, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F Kennedy. Kofi Annan. Lady Bird Johnson. Mahatma Gandhi. Malcom X. Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Neil Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana Spencer, Richard Feynman, Robert F Kennedy, Sir Edmund Hillary, Stephen Hawking, Wangari Maathai, and Winston Churchill.

Clemenger CD Brigid Alkema said: “They’re all people who rallied, united and inspired humanity through adversity, world wars, racial injustice, social inequity and feats of the human spirit.

“They reshaped the world we live in for the better. And now these same people who defined generations of the past are lifting their voices one more time, to inspire people everywhere today to step up to their own defining moment: climate change.

“Through a powerful new speech, they’re calling people everywhere to unite in a common goal: to join Gen Less.

“Gen Less is a new way of living. A shift in mindset. A decision to reimagine how we can live and work in more climate-friendly ways. To believe we can have thriving lives and get more out of life by using less energy.

EECA comms manager Jane O’Loughlin said: “We set out to make action on climate change something people will want to do, not just be obliged to do. Gen Less is a challenge to New Zealanders to scrutinise our decisions as individuals, and as a society, to rethink our collective approach to energy – from the smaller steps in our daily lives, to the larger systemic shifts we need to make together.”

Alkema says Gen Less (short for Generation Less) is united around a central thought: “It takes all of us, a generation, to ignite real change. Those in Gen Less are united not by their age, but by their collective decision to embrace a life with fewer emissions from energy. An entire generation choosing to embrace a better, fuller, more sustainable life, through less.

“The launch film was created through a uniquely Gen Less approach, by recycling existing footage to create something entirely new.”

“Gen Less is represented by a powerfully simple symbol: < (the less-than sign). It’s a signifier that individuals, businesses, organisations and even governments can use to show their commitment to living and working in more climate-friendly ways. Many leading New Zealand businesses have already joined Gen Less, and have shown their commitment by temporarily switching their logos to the < symbol.”

Gen Less launches with an upcycled speech on the eve of Climate Week NYC, which runs until this Sunday (29 September).

Alkema: “The launch film was created through a uniquely Gen Less approach, by recycling and reusing existing footage to create something entirely new.”

“Hundreds of speeches and interviews were researched, from well-known speeches to little-seen archival footage. The ultimate figures and quotes were chosen to reflect a diversity of thought, cultures, backgrounds and beliefs that represent people from all walks of life.”

These were then pieced together by Assembly.

Jonny Kofoed, director of motion design at Assembly, said: “Using existing footage and photos to thread these figures together from across time and place was a momentous, unique challenge.”

The film also features Māori rights activist Dame Whina Cooper, who led New Zealand’s Māori Land March in 1975.

Her son, Joseph Cooper, wrote the unique karanga (ceremonial call) featured at the end of the film, their generations united as one under Gen Less. Spoken in Māori, the karanga echoes his mother’s words and rallies all people to unite behind our common goal:

He karanga ki nga iwi puta noa i te ao ki nga
nekehanga āhuarangi o te ao.
“Kia mataara” Kaua e tukua
“Kia orata” ngia te ao
Kia tupato! Kia tupato!
Kia tupato! I nga korohu kino.
To the people of the world, regarding climate change.
Be awake; Be vigilant; Be cautious!
Do not allow the destruction of the world through
harmful carbon emissions in our atmosphere.
Be Awake! Be Vigilant! Be Cautious!


Client: EECA (Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority)
Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington
Production: Assembly
Media Agency: OMD
PR Agency: Porter Novelli

In collaboration with: Sir Edmund Hillary Estate, Dame Whina Cooper Estate , Wangari Maathai Estate, TVNZ, BBC, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), SABC (South African Broadcasting Corp), CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), British Pathe, Druyan-Sagan Associates, Democritus Properties, LLC, NZOC (New Zealand Olympic Committee), Getty Images, CMG, IMG, United Nations AV Library, Anne Frank Fonds Basel, Switzerland, LBJ Presidential Library, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre, Untied Agents, Stephen Hawking Foundation, Kofi Annan Foundation, The Green Belt Movement, Cosmos Studios.

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