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Brandalism’s Guerrilla Action Uses Ads to Go After Airliners With Huge Carbon Footprints
The aviation industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change, due to the huge carbon footprint of each flight, and the high volume of commercial and private flights. While efforts are underway to take the entire industry into a greener direction by replacing fossil fuels, said change might come when it’s already too late.

Brandalism’s Guerrilla Action Uses Ads to Go After Airliners With Huge Carbon Footprints

Art collective Brandalism takes on fossil ads for airline companies and the part they play in climate changeArt collective Brandalism takes on fossil ads for airline companies and the part they play in climate changeArt collective Brandalism takes on fossil ads for airline companies and the part they play in climate changeArt collective Brandalism takes on fossil ads for airline companies and the part they play in climate changeArt collective Brandalism takes on fossil ads for airline companies and the part they play in climate changeArt collective Brandalism takes on fossil ads for airline companies and the part they play in climate change
It’s a Catch-22-type of situation, where major airliners know that change is needed, but aren’t willing to make it yet because there’s money to be made from the current situation. At the same time, perhaps many of those flying are aware of the way it impacts the environment, but they still choose it because it’s cheaper and more convenient than other means of travel. Meanwhile, our planet is burning.

Following one of the hottest summers on record, which again sparked massive fires and other types of unusual weather phenomena, international art collective Brandalism is back in the headlines with a new guerrilla campaign. They’re using their now-usual brand of “subvertising” to ring the alarm on the role advertising plays in the current situation. If we’re going to break the circle and push for change, it might as well start with the marketing for these airliners.

October is Commercials Month here on autoevolution, and while this isn’t a commercial per se, it’s still a good fit because it turns the tables on the commercials used by airliners to attract more customers. This time, though, these faux-ads are speaking the truth, even if it’s not one we’ll like: the more we fly, the closer to death our planet comes. There’s no sense in looking away anymore, and there’s definitely no excuse to letting ourselves distracted.

Much like celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Drake and Taylor Swift were called out earlier this year for their excessive and many times ridiculous use of their private jets, this is a call to arms to save our planet, masquerading as an attack on companies like Ryanair, KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, or Easyjet. The guerrilla campaign includes the appearance of fake ads in major European cities like Barcelona, Brussels, Bristol, London, Amsterdam, Rome, Norwich, and Paris, highlighting the reality behind airline marketing.

“Say Yes To The End Of The World,” one poster urges, while another renames Ryanair as “Ruinair,” specializing in “world trashing prices,” and offering “Low fares to plastic island.” The text on these posters might be different, but the message is the same: airliners sell a rosy picture of a future that will not exist if we continue buying into the lie, and we continue flying. Marketing plays a vital role in the way these flights reach the end consumer, so they must be banned.

“The allure and glamour of high carbon lifestyles such as frequent flying has been purposefully crafted by the advertising industry and shows no signs of relenting – despite one of the hottest summers on record,” Tona Merriman from Brandalism says. “Advertising agencies such as Ogilvy, VCCP, Dentsu, DDB Munchen need to consider their role in driving up emissions for airlines they work for such as British Airways, Easyjet, KLM and Lufthansa. We call on employees in those firms to refuse work for high carbon clients.”

At the same time, Brandalism is hoping that spreading word of mouth will lead to concrete action on an international scale, so it’s urging people to sign the petition asking for the ban of fossil ads. They compare the ads for airline companies to commercials for cigarettes, which were eventually banned after years of pushback from the tobacco industry. Smoking is still a widespread reality, but at the very least it has a much reduced reach because it’s not being glorified by marketing anymore.

Brandalism offers a very recent example of how marketing is used to sell a much more polished and flattering view of reality, in the hope of distracting from the real issue. This summer, as London was boiling at 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit, which is unheard of for the British capital), EasyJet ran newspaper ads that suggested “cooling down” in Portugal, and offered cheaper fares to that destination. This is the equivalent of sipping a can of ice-cold Pepsi (or Coke, your choice), while the house is burning around you. It might feel good for a fraction of a second, but you’re still going to die.

That’s a very blunt way of putting it but, still, it’s a far more elegant way of raising awareness than whatever drastic measures Extinction Rebellion comes up with. Even if such a heavy dose of realism wasn’t what you were hoping for when you clicked this article, at the very least, it will have made you think about the issue for one second longer than you would have otherwise.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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