Team Plant: Greenpeace’s Crack Team Of Kids To Change The World
It’s really gratifying to see a concept that was just and idea in a few people’s brains get translated into a solid script and then into a viral video. In online advocacy, this often doesn’t happen but a great idea and flawless execution paid off.
For the launch of Greenpeace’s Less Is More global campaign to reduce industrial meat and dairy production for the sake of the planet, three campaigners at Greenpeace International – Alessandro Saccoccio, Dawn Bickett and myself, brainstormed some ideas to really articulate how we’re trying to trigger a major shift in consumption patterns in a positive way.
Half the battle was getting the right production partner to work with us and we were leaning toward Raindown UK, whom we had worked with before on a film in Japan that highlights the amount of pesticides found in body fluids from conventional produce. But this film had to be something different. It had to sell the campaign and had to sizzle. So it all came down to the right concept.
Ale, Dawn and I kicked around a few ideas some we’re proud of and some less so. One idea was to have fake scientists talk about how the best way to gain more resources were through technological innovations like creating and “inflatable earth” so we could just grow more land mass needed for our meat consumption. That could have worked, but we figured only in some cultures. The humor might fall flat.
The idea that sent us on our way was actually my reference to the viral “Kid President” video from SoulPancake I saw a few year’s back. My 11-year-old son is also a huge Mission Impossible fan and I constantly hear he and some of his friends say such brilliant and obvious things about how to save the planet lost on most adults. So I share with Ale and Dawn this video and an idea. If we had kids say common sense things that adults have forgotten and as long as we have the right kid actors through careful casting, then the idea of an inspirational, funny team of kids will transcend cultures. We need a video that worked in more than 10 territories are campaign was launching in. We also needed more physical humor as opposed to verbal punchlines.
So in the end, we worked with Raindown on a script that was a kind of hybrid of Kid President and Mission Impossible where kids rise up to take on this critical environmental problem because adults are simply too obtuse, lazy or beholden to special interests to do something about it. We looked at about 20 multinational actors and settled on the most appealing for our crack team. Alessandro did an amazing job accompanying the production team during an extremely accelerated shoot to make our launch deadline – basically a long weekend. Then we added just the right music and environmental degradation shots in post production.
We relied upon a network of Facebook and Twitter influencers to get the word out during our launch week in addition to adding subtitles for several languages. While the film did modestly on YouTube, the film was perfect for Facebook and garnered more than 2.4 million views.
I say we let the kids run things for a while.