In one, the narrator stands on a railroad track with a train approaching behind him, talking about climate change coming 20-30 years from now and saying the problem is beyond his lifetime. He steps off the track just before the train is to hit him, but standing behind the narrator is a little girl, who is implied to be inevitably steamrolled by the locomotive.
It’s quite brilliant: kudos to the creative team at Ogilvy & Mather. The 30-second spot reminds me a bit of the legendary ad that was said to have been instrumental in leading to LBJ’s election over Goldwater in 1964: the little girl playing with a flower, superimposed with a mushroom cloud. The inference was clear: vote for Goldwater, and your children face the prospect of nuclear war.
If this PSA on global warming is widely seen, can it have the same impact on the collective consciousness? Let’s find out. Let’s urge it to be shown on the Super Bowl, or on American Idol, or on Oprah: venues watched by millions, most of whom are in the dark about climate change.