Grist - The best, worst, and weirdest climate ads of 2020 ft. "It's Your Problem" Directed by Brian Aldrich

/ Grist

Whether they’re pro- or anti-climate, video ads trying to sway voters on environmental issues generally stick to a handful of familiar tropes: trees and polar bears for the conservationists, jobs and construction hats for the fossil fuel interests. If it’s a politician touting their environmental voting record, there’s a 50-50 chance they’re doing so while fly-fishing.

But every so often, we are blessed with some truly creative eco-advertisements for mobilizing the masses. We at Grist spent some time rounding up the cream of the crop (or at least the most unique of the crop) for your edification entertainment. From epic chase scenes to “candid” family conversations to a bizarre cameo from Carl Sagan, here’s how advertisers in 2020 thought outside the box with their environmental messaging.

Make it satire

This ad from the League of Conservation Voters lets the “fossil fuel industry” speak for itself via a handful of (obviously fictionalized) wealthy oil executives doing what they do best — smoking cigars, playing golf in their bathrobes, and shredding evidence that they knew about climate change decades ago. (“No one needs to know that!”)

The ad packs a punch by poking fun at the industry-led emphasis on individual climate action. Consumers had better start composting! Or stop exhaling so much carbon dioxide. “You’ve got a lot of work to do,” says a man in an expensive-looking suit. “‘Cause your kids are gonna need it.”

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