When I browsed facebook yesterday around 9pm I saw someone who had posted a campaign video from 10:10, the NGO who is trying to encourage other companies and individuals to reduce their emission 10% in 2010. When I saw this video I was honestly very disturbed by the message it conveyed.
The people in the mini-film who refuses to do their share of reducing their global footprint are told ”No pressure, it’s your choice” and then get blown up in a bloody mess. So is this the right way of communicating that people should join the campaign? Because it sure does get your attention, and publicity is always good, right?
So let’s take a deeper look at this. A brand is comprised of two different aspects, what they do and how they communicate. So what does 10:10 do? They encourage individuals and companies to volontarily reduce their emissions. The implicit promise 10:10 then makes is that if everyone reduces their emissions the planet will be kept safe for everyone.
If we take a look at the second aspect, communication, we find out that Franny Armstrong, the founder of 10:10 would like bring this message to us:
Because we have got about four years to stabilise global emissions and we are not anywhere near doing that. All our lives are at threat and if that’s not worth jumping up and down about, I don’t know what is. We ‘killed’ five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change.
The use Kant’s categorical imperative might help in making the situation clearer on how we should both act and communicate our issues. The second formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative states:
Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end
Franny Armstrongs message clearly violates this as she sees those five albeit imaginary people killed as a means to hopefully save the 300 000 real people who dies every day. Instead of seeing all persons imaginary or not as an end themselves.
The solution to this is simple, and can be found in Kant’s categorical imperative as well. Leo Heijbel wrote a brilliant re-interperation which he calls the brand imperative:
Only communicate a message that could be the result of all your activity your brand represents.
Usually brands try to polish their message and leave their operations behind, but here it seems like 10:10 left their message behind although their work is highly encouragable. The obvious solution to reduce the discrepancy between your actions and the message would be to take back your message and apologize. Especially when considering that there are over 3000 companies that has invested their time and resources to be associated with 10:10 and I’m doubtful that they would like to be associated with the kind of message this 10:10 mini-film conveys.
Update: 10:10 has made the film private, so I guess it’s a step in the right direction. It’s still viewable on youtube if you search for it though but under a different banner. Nothing really disappears on the internet as you may know.
The reverbation of today's society through the eyes of a person deeply in love with planet earth. The transformation of today's society is going on in front of our very eyes, I'm striving to be one of the persons to tell the tale of how it was done.
I think at the core of a happier planet and happier persons is community, sharing and telling stories.