Don’t Judge Argentina’s Care for Sustainable Living by its Inappropriate Air Conditioning Ads

Everyone in the environmental world may be thinking about June because of Rio+20, but the advertising industry looks to that month for an entirely different reason: the Cannes Lions Festival.

So while our preparations might be to raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency, sustainable living and the green economy, some agencies’ preoccupation is to make funny ads which can give them an award and thus win them the favor of their parent networks (excuse the advertising lingo, I used to work in a magazine about the industry).

In two misfortunate attempts to do this, agencies TBWA Buenos Aires and Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi have created two campaigns for different brands of air conditioning which show they desperately need someone with an environmental eye in their teams.

The first is a print campaign by TBWA Buenos Aires which shows a polar bear and a seal with silver-tape in their mouths. As Copyranter noted, you would think it’s a Speak-for-those-who-don’t-have-a-voice Greenpeace message, but the slogan says, “Cold meets silence” and an air conditioning image.

First, if you don’t get the joke it’s because it doesn’t make any sense. Second, using endangered polar bears and seals to sell air conditioning is just plain wrong, a contradiction in which there is no irony.

Second comes a TV campaign by Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, which shows how embarrassing is to have your father walking around in briefs during the summer if you don’t have air conditioning.

I don’t know where to start. Please, please don’t think that Argentinean men walk around in briefs in any given house during the summer. I’ve lived in Buenos Aires without air conditioning for 29 years of my life now and never did my father or brother or boyfriend walked around in briefs in front of people.

Yes, I know, it’s meant to be a metaphor, but no, I just don’t get the lack of taste and the sheer dumbness of it. There’s also wickedness in the message: the idea that if you don’t have air conditioning you’re tacky. Communicating that in any way, even if you’re trying to be funny, is just wrong.

Argentina is not the champion of sustainability, we certainly could learn some from our Brazilian neighbors, but please don’t think we’re all as dumb as these ads.

Don’t Judge Argentina’s Care for Sustainable Living by its Inappropriate Air Conditioning Ads
Two misfortunate advertising campaigns from Argentina use polar bears and tackiness to promote air conditioning.

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