Nonprofit Design by CEDC

Climate Wars (Star Wars Parody Ad)

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Climate Wars (Star Wars Parody Ad)Climate Wars (Star Wars Parody Ad)
PARTNER: Avaaz.org
PROJECT TYPE: Print Design | Advertisement
OTHER TAGS: Climate Change | Angela Merkel | Parody

This project blossomed into a four page spread after initially being conceived as a single page. Continuing on a successful theme of parodying pop culture to drive home a point, Avaaz.org embedded the drama of the UN global climate talks (in Poznan) and the upcoming EU summit (in Brussels) into a blockbuster storyline emphasizing the epic battle that faces Angela Merkel as she makes some very important decisions regarding the environment and the economy. We created the digital illustrations and other visuals to accompany it -- and we even managed to get a few Ewoks in on the last page.

This spread ran in full colour on four pages in the Gazeta in Poland in December 2008.

Page dimensions: 362.3mm x 528mm

Update: from an Avaaz blog post

...Avaaz took out a four-page advertisement in the Polish newspaper distributed at the UN talks. Facilitated by local Avaaz volunteers and paid for by member donations, the ad used a parody of Star Wars to ask if "Angie Skywalker" was being tempted by the Dark Side to become a climate "Darth Merkel"--and delivered our petition and poll results in a spectacular fashion that was covered on multiple German television networks and around the world.

We learned that the Darth Merkel ad was waved at the German delegation's morning meeting at the UN talks--and when an Avaaz staffer tried to hand a copy of it to Germany's environment minister, he said he already had one.

The German campaign was an Avaaz-style surge of people-powered political pressure: rapid, targeted, global, and, we now know, effective. Sources close to the Chancellor's office tell us that the German leadership were stunned by the intensity of global reaction to their attempt to backtrack on climate policy. They hadn't anticipated anything close to it. Throughout, Avaaz worked closely with partner groups in Germany, who organized protests and launched ad campaigns throughout Germany--creating a "pressure sandwich" of international and domestic outcry. When the final EU deal was struck, Germany backed down on one of its most damaging demands--the free pollution permits and subsidies for new coal plants.

It wouldn't have happened without us--all of us around the world, whether we waved signs in freezing Warsaw or clicked an online petition from home.

In one sense, it's a small victory in a huge fight. The EU climate package is deeply flawed, and will have to be radically strengthened if Europe is to do its part. And Europe is just one component of the global agreement that will have to be struck in Copenhagen next year--at the end of a process full of pitfalls and obstacles.

But in another sense--as with our climate victories a year ago with Canada and Japan--it's a reminder to all of us that these enormous global problems aren't really so far out of our reach. That political leaders need to be led by regular people. That when enough of us join together, we can change the world.

Background imagery: NASA

Dec 12, 2008