The Hospital Club, one of London’s trendiest creative hubs (and named one of Britain’s coolest brands), recently hosted their annual Sustainability Week. This was an effort that saw the club bringing members of the creative community together to discuss and share how we can be responsible global citizens and make the world a better place. Bringing their unique and inspiring take on creativity vs climate change to the party, was not-for-profit Do The Green Thing.
Photographer Dean Chalkley’s aim was to get people turning off the heating and pulling on a jumper instead.
Billed as an “advertising agency for the environment” by founder and Pentagram partner Naresh Ramchandani, Do The Green Thing have a mission to “to inspire, seduce, provoke and persuade people to do things that they otherwise would not have considered.” Naresh spoke very eloquently about the power of creativity in the ‘dark arts’ of advertising and marketing to ‘sell more stuff’ and how his experience of working in the industry for many years had led to a frustration with the status quo which then in turn inspired him to set up Do The Green Thing with co-founder Andy Hobsbawm.
Design company Hudson-Powell have created this rather endearing poster, encouraging us to show light bulbs a bit of compassion. Illustrator Harriet Stansall has created a poster using acrylic and gouache to campaign against fussiness when we are picking fresh produce, which is partially responsible for the astronomical amount of food that goes to waste worldwide. The second of Do The Green Thing’s 23 Posters in support of WWF’s Earth Hour on March 23rd is by Pentagram designer Marina Willer.
Naresh is absolutely right: creativity in itself is neither good or bad, it is simply a tool or vehicle that is used to convey a message. And the creative industries are extremely talented at using it to fuel consumerism. What Do The Green Thing is trying to do is to harness that talent, time, energy and creativity to produce sustainable advertising of the same calibre but which instead encourages and allows us to live a greener lifestyle.
Their latest campaign features a host of design industry icons using their powers for good, with Naresh calling in favours from his Pentagram pals such as Angus Hyland, Marina Willer, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman and creative figures like Patrick Cox (designer of the Olymic Logo) and Google’s Tom Uglow.
Pentagram’s Harry Pearce was struck by how many of us seem to have forgotten how to use our feet.
What’s really lovely about the creative output of Do The Green thing is that they are a testament to the staying power of one the oldest mediums of communication, the poster. In an age where the latest advertising campaigns demand fully integrated digital, TV, outdoor and print solutions there is a very powerful statement to be made by communicating everything within the confines of a page. As Naresh himself says “Posters are the most effective way for Do The Green Thing to get out first class creativity consistently”. Paradoxically the poster then manifests itself as its own digital campaign, as the viral nature of the content and creativity share the message far and wide via social media.
To date Do The Green Thing estimate they have reached over 11million people with their ‘advertising campaign for the environment’ and Naresh says he has high hopes for 2014 when they will be partnering again with the wildlife charity WWF, where he has the target of reaching 50 million plus! I for one hope they hit that target and more because the world really needs creativity to engage and inspire people and facilitate more sustainable lifestyles.