UNDP and SAWA talk about dinosaurs at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, are bringing a fierce, talking dinosaur to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, to urge world leaders for more climate action.
This first-ever film using computer-generated imagery (CGI) shot inside the United Nations General Assembly is the centerpiece of UNDP’s “Don’t Choose Extinction” campaign, which has reached an audience of 1 .8 billion views worldwide. Global cinema advertising is currently being screened in cinemas in thirty countries for an 8-week period, in sixteen languages, with the support of SAWA Cinema Advertising Association and Global Cinema Medium.
“Since 2015, the Global Cinema Medium has partnered with the United Nations to advance its Sustainable Development Goals. In 2022, although cinema has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, our advertising companies Global Cinema are committed to supporting this campaign on climate change, considered one of the most pressing challenges of our time,” said SAWA CEO Cheryl Wannell. “Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X place climate action tops the list for themselves and for the brands they use. They are among the hardest-to-reach demographics and comprise the mainstream movie audience.”
The campaign is nominated in four award categories at the Cannes Lions. UNDP and SAWA Global Cinema Advertising Association will present the campaign on the Debussy stage of the festival on Wednesday June 22 at 3:30 p.m., alongside actors Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Aïssa Maïga, the Danish and French voices of “Frankie le Dino et le president de SAWA, Florian Weischer.
In the campaign announcement, Frankie, a computer-generated dinosaur, bursts into the United Nations General Assembly, seizes his iconic podium and urges stunned-looking dignitaries to avoid the doom of the dinosaurs – extinction – by making changes to tackle the climate crisis. “At least we had an asteroid,” the dinosaur warns, referring to the popular theory explaining the extinction of dinosaurs 70 million years ago. “What’s your excuse?”
The short film was voiced in 39 languages and features famous actors from around the world, including Jack Black (English), Eiza González (Spanish), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish) and Aïssa Maïga (French). It has been translated into over 60 languages to date.
“When the idea of a dinosaur in the United Nations Assembly came up, we immediately knew it was the perfect use of creativity for a global cause,” said Boaz Paldi, director of the creation of the UNDP. “The campaign and film shine a light on harmful fossil fuel subsidies, offer solutions to transition to a greener economy and the urgent need for everyone to take climate action.”
UNDP research published as part of the campaign shows that the world spends a staggering $423 billion a year subsidizing fossil fuels for consumers – petroleum, electricity generated by burning other fossil fuels , gas and coal. By 2021, the value of fossil fuel subsidies has increased by more than US$120 billion worldwide to around US$578 billion. The war in Ukraine has caused oil prices to rise in many countries and there are fears that governments will increase subsidies even further to help reduce the impact on local populations.
“Fossil fuel subsidies are contributing to climate change and growing inequality around the world. But there is not enough global awareness or understanding around this issue. Placing the campaign on center stage in Cannes, in front of the most great creative forces in the world, provides hope for changing all of this by using creativity to inform and inspire millions of people around the world to action,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and Danish lyrics of Frankie the dinosaur.
The film ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ was created in partnership with Activista Los Angeles (an award-winning creative agency), David Litt (US President Barack Obama’s speechwriter) and Framestore (the creative studio behind James Bond , Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers End Game). Wunderman Thompson built a digital ecosystem for the initiative to empower people around the world, while Mindpool produced a collective intelligence engagement tool for the campaign platform.