Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Diesel-Global Warming Ready Campaign

Recent campaign for clothing brand Diesel, by Paris-based agency Marcel, has been surrounded by a fair amount of discussion as to the use of such images.

Campaign which included the printed ad's above and a moving image piece following a similar concept, was for Diesel's current Summer '07 collection and bears the strapline 'Global Warming Ready'. As it could be expected there has been alot of talk surrounding the 'correctness' of the company producing advertisements such as this just to sell their clothes, with interesting points being raised on both sides.

Diesel has, on one hand, used a very current issue that already has a high level of awareness surrounding it, to attract the audiences' attention; the line 'global warming ready' was argued by the brand to communicate a positive message both about the company itself and it's consumers - they are ready to approach and deal with the subject of global warming.

However some argued Diesel is exploiting the issue of global warming for advertising and business purposes. The artwork and creative direction is innovative and unique - by using recognisable locations/landmarks but changing their appearances to suggest the effects of global warming on the planet, striking, eye-catching images have been created. It attracts the audiences' attention and offers an 'eye-opener' as to what may happen if we don't take action yet by using these shocking images, Diesel's main priority is to increase brand awareness and sales - is this morally correct?

The brand is raising awareness of an important issue impending on our future and the Diesel demographic may be one group of society that really needs such a wake up call. But by associating such a serious issue with the likes of fashion, materialism and our consumer culture, the campaign seems to soften it. The campaign is impacting yes, but if we are continuously exposed to issues in such a context, will they still remain as serious to us? Instead, perhaps Diesel should focus on how the company and it's consumers can decrease their impact upon the planet.


callumbarker said...

"They are ready to approach and deal with the subject of global warming" By buying a boat and Diesel swimwear?

To me, from their imagery, it seems like Diesel are saying we are ready for the world to turn out like this. As though the images we see are inevitable points in the future and Diesel are screaming out bring it on.

It seems to have a cheeky almost smug tone of voice not one of concern. The use of global warming is more utilised as an eye opener to the brands attitude of "nothing can stop us, not even global warming," not the actual issue.

With such strong means of publicity you could encourage a campaign that makes viewers reflect about global warming, not make them think that it doesn’t matter. But that wouldnt fit Diesels values and tone of voice.

The controversial nature of the campaign could well have been what they wanted to gain further publicity.

Diesel says: Global Warming is ok because we can ADAPT to it... (oh and buy our stuff)

On Diesel or the Designers?

Any idea what agency did it?

I wouldnt want to work on this campaign, mainly because of its ignorant tone of voice. But how would you feel if you were in an agency made to work on something you felt was morally wrong or irrasponsible? Im sure we will all be faced with social and political issues in the future directly related to work we are doing.

"Designers need to become more responsible" is quite a popular current issue at the moment. But what powers do we actually have, espcially when working with large corporate clients. Our resposibility and power is something we all need to consider and fully realise.

Thoughts anyone?

SarahFleming said...

Agency: Marcel, Paris, France
Executive Creative Director: Frederic Temin
Creative Director: Nicolas Chauvin
Copywriter: Frederic Temin
Art Director: Nicolas Chauvin, Romin Favre
Photographer: Terry Richardson
Typographer: Romin Favre
Account Supervisor: Frederic Temin
Advertiser’s Supervisor: Wilbert Das, Antonella Viero, Lucinda Spera, Giulia Castellini

You've raised some interesting ideas here. I agree with you that the tone of voice isnt exactly heartfelt and concerning, but

It would be interesting to know other peoples' views as to whether they think Diesel are trying to position themselves as an environmentally friendly company - 'green washing', where by brands dont practice what they preach, presenting themselves as being environmentally/ethically sound but actually being far from it, is on the increase as it is increasingly being acknowledged the way to the consumers heart is to be ethically/socially/environmentally sound.

But do the target market of Diesel really have any interest in environmentally aware companies? The more I consider the core market for Diesel the more I think they have just used this concept and visual execution for the 'wow' factor, for the images people will stop and look at and for the publicity that goes with such controversy.

You also mentioned you wouldnt want to work on such a campaign. The responsibility of the designer is an increasing subject of conversation within the industry and there are countless articles offering opinions and advice on how to select clients with whom you which to work. Unless you work within an agency/studio who has a strong policy on the clients it will and will not work with, its inevitable you will be faced with clients whose policies you don't agree with. As a designer, how much power do we have to start suggesting some alternates to the clients, changing the way they are perceived by the public and their values and beliefs.

Lucienne Roberts' book 'Good' offers a deep and extensive look into being a 'good' designer and how to go about it.