Plastic has been one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, it revolutionized and change the entire world but at the same time brought many problems with it. In the ’60s is when plastic started to get very popular and spread all around the world, at that time, they couldn’t imagine all the pollution that this new material would cause. Plastic pollution is globally distributed all over the world, especially in the oceans. Due to its properties of bayuncy and durability, plastic it’s one of the most dangerous pollutants ever, in fact, it would take over 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down and more than 600 for a fishing line and even after that the plastic breaks down in microplastic which are small pieces of plastic less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life.
Every single year millions of animals like birds, whales, sea lion, turtle and many other die because of the amount of plastic that are present in their natural habitat.
The high amount of plastic in the sea is caused by society and industries that don’t think about the environmental impact that their action will have now and in the future, in fact, the reason why plastic is released into the ecosystem is because of the ruthless action that humans take, throwing tons of plastic into the ocean using it as garbage. One of the ways in which big corporations like WWF and Greenpeace, and many others, are trying to resolve the plastic pollution problem is by spreading information about the situation of plastic in the ocean with the use of campaign ads to target the major problems and to make the worldwide population acknowledge the reality in which we live.
Throughout this paper, I will analyze various pieces of campaign ads (images) created both by WWF and Greenpeace that tried to spread awareness and solutions all over the world, and also all the techniques that are being used in this campaign ads in order to be effective and create some sort of change. Before starting to analyze the ads I’m going to give some background information about WWF and Greenpeace and what they do. “The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. It is the world’s largest conservation organization with over five million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. They have invested over $1 billion in more than 12,000 conservation initiatives since 1995.
On the other hand, we have Greenpeace, which is a non-governmental environmental organization that was created in 1971, “Greenpeace states its goal is to ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity and focuses its campaigning on worldwide issues such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues. So we can clearly see that there’s not much difference between the two corporations, they both want to preserve nature and try to stop or limit any possible damage created by humans. In this case both WWF and Greenpeace invested heavily on the creation of campaigns agaisnt plastic pollution in all ocean, with the creation of various pieces of adsv.. they tried to spread awareness around the world in order to make people understand the suffering that our oceans and marine fauna are going through because of the non-stop plastic pollution that big corporations and a big part of us are doing, and that soon we are going to cause the extinction of thousands of species and therefore destroy our precious oceans.
The first piece of advertisement that we are going to analyze its created by Greenpeace in a campaign called “Don’t let coke, choke our oceans”, where they are targeting Coca-Cola, and all the big corporations that produce plastic pollution every year, as the Greenpeace page state their goals for this campaign to call out “the companies that are responsible for selling single-use plastic bottles to us to commit to drastically reducing their plastic footprint, by ditching throwaway plastic.” and they are mostly going to target Coca-Cola because “Studies estimate that 600 billion bottles will be produced globally this year – and Coca-Cola alone is responsible for a sixth of all plastic drinks bottles sold around the world.” In this picture, we can see that the typical coca-cola symbol is situated on the top left of the image and instead on saying Cola we can read the world Choke written with the usual font of the coca-cola symbol. We also see the tail of a whale, an animal that is heavily affected by plastic pollution, and we can see the huge mammal on the sand, insinuating that is dead. After that we can read in the bottom right part of the image the message of this piece, “ 56% of whale and dolphin species have ingested plastics. Don’t let Coke, Choke our oceans”. In this single piece of ads. we can see many techniques used by Greenpeace in order to make it effective, first we can see how they use the coca cola logo and change it up with the word choke to communicate that the corporation produces a lot of plastic and it’s one of the biggest responsible for the death of the dolphins and whales of our oceans, and by using the same logo, font, colors it tríes to make the viewers always connect coca-cola with a bad action, an action that kills both dolphins and whales.
Then after that we can also see how they use statistics which make people more trustworthy of the message that is communicated and then we also see the use of the sound resembles of the word coke and choke, which will stick in people head and makes them think of strong connection between coca cola choking all of this animals due to their need of plastic for the well-going of their company. The clearest stylistic device that is being used by Greenpeace is Diction, and as I said before we see that occurring with the choice of the word choke which sounds very familiar with the name of the company coke so that it’s easier for the viewers to make that connection. Another important aspect of this piece is the colors, in fact even if the whole campaign is about plastic in the “ocean” the only color that used in the image are terrestrial colors, like light brown, white, gray and no color that would remind the viewers of the blue ocean, Greenpeace uses this colors to make it seem as if the animals are always closer and closer to us, communicating that they are dying very rapidly and that they are here with us in our planet, if they used more light colors like blue and light blue then it could’ve felt like the animals are living in their own world and they are distant from our life which is not true and why the creator of this campaign decided to use more string and terrestrial colors.