Category Archives: green

Partners in Green

Although not the first of it’s kind, this carbon-dioxide absorbing billboard does mark a first for the Philippines, a country that doesn’t have the greatest environmental track record. Created as a collaboration between Coca-Cola Philippines and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Fukien Tea Plant Billboard helps alleviate air pollution in the surrounding area. The Fukien Tea plants, embedded in over 3000 discarded Coca-cola bottles are each capable of absorbing up to 13 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.

So that’s all great, but where does Coca-cola come into all of this? More and more, corporations are pouring time, money and resources into their CSR ambitions. Are we naive enought to believe that billboards like this one are conceived purely for the good of the planet? Of course not, but as a tool for improving brand image, it will certainly make the head honchos at Coca-cola sleep a little better. From WWF’s point of view, they’re able to clean up pollution and promote their agenda with all the power and might of the Coca-cola marketing arm.

In future, we think that we can expect to see more of these mutually beneficial campaigns, where advertising can serve the aims of two very different organisations, to the advantage of both.



Environmental crusaders

Here at Baby we like to think that as well as producing effective creative work, we also occasionally do some good for the world. Charity and opinion change ads have become increasingly formulaic, causing ‘giving-fatigued’ consumers to disengage. With tight budgets and so much at stake, we think this area is the last place creativity should be allowed to stagnate.

With this in mind, we would like to honour some of the incredible advertising  being done in the name of ecological good. These are some examples of innovative campaigns that are changing the world for the better – and happen to be fantastic images to boot.

These posters produced for Earth Day Canada have elegantly tackled the challenge of convincing people that the human impact on the environment does and will affect them directly. These striking images bring the bleak reality of environmental destruction into our homes and a little too close for comfort.

This WWF poster goes a step further by bringing deforestation inside our bodies. This stunning image has a double meaning, not only does it position deforestation as a cancer to the planet, but suggests that losing the world’s forests will lead to an increase in pulmonary disease.

If we’re talking about advertisers that think outside the proverbial box, this poster for the ‘No Tankers’ campaign produced by Rethink Canada (Is it just us or is Canada a hotspot of great advertising?) definitely deserves a mention. In a beautifully simple piece of design, the posters show nothing except a solid black picture of an oil tanker. Printed on paper and displayed around the city, when it started to rain the image would start to drip, ultimately revealing the message ‘Oil spills affect everyone’ from under a mess of black ink.

Here WWF has tried to turn some of the attention (and affection) afforded to various endangered species such as a panda, a rhino and a gorilla, on to the emotionally neglected bluefin tuna. Whilst perhaps not as cuddly, these tuna have been over-fished almost to the point of extinction due to their popularity with sushi-lovers. WWF are trying to reduce the overall allowable catch by urging businesses in the food industry not to purchase this ugly but not undeserving fish.

These gems are just a few examples of the amazing creations being born in the the name of global good. Keep up the good work, design is mightier than the sword.


Rubbish Island

Dutch architect Ramon Knoester is making the best of a trashy situation (pun intended, ha). He has plans to construct the world’s only fully-sustainable island built out of garbage. In the northern Pacific Ocean, a gargantuan garbage pile has accumulated in an area estimated to be twice the size of Texas. Knoester’s island will be about the size of Hawaii, and is planned to feature a single family home with a solar roof, compost toilets, blue energy from wave motion, and a sustainable agricultural system. We think is a very cool way to deal with our planet’s excess of trash , are incredibly envious of anyone who gets to visit it, and hope to see more of these in the future!

For more information on what is dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this video, which is quite depressing, sheds light on the capacity of this phenomenon.

On a lighter note, it’s Friday! Our advertising this week comes from Mother New York for Target and features an amazing light show done at the Standard Hotel in New York City. The event actually happened last year, but we just came across this video today, and had to share. Watch below:

Though the extravagance of the lights wholly distracted us from the clothing featured, we thought this was a great ploy on Target’s part. As evident in the video, people all over NY got to see the show, even if they weren’t planning on it. This seems like something a major fashion house would do, so kudos to Target for executing it so well.

Happy Friday!

(source: Dvice)

Eat your words… or your pen

About a year ago, we posted about Luxirare’s edible crayons. Today, we bring you a more adult version of this, with Dutch design student Dave Hakkens‘ edible pens. His original motive is illustrated below:

The creatives in the office are constantly brainstorming, sketching, crossing-out, and re-thinking, and are known to nibble on a pen here and there. We hate asking to borrow a pen and receiving a seemingly mauled plastic tube or lending our pen out to a known pen-muncher. Hakkens undoubtedly could relate to this, hence his edible creation.

The candy used to make the pens is similar to that of candy bracelets, so it does not melt in your hand when using it. The whole pen, including the ink, is edible except for the tip where the ink is released from. This solves the problem of those half-chewed pens being strewn about the office! Furthermore, the tip can be saved and used in a different flavoured pen.

Our only qualm with this very cool invention  is what one should do if they wish to put the pen down after having chewed it a bit. Perhaps an old-fashioned quill holder would solve this germy problem? Our favorite part of the product besides its power to cure a sweet tooth is its reduction of plastic waste. So often we throw out a pen after the ink runs out without even taking into consideration how much of the product is going to waste (as Hakkens pointed out, essentially 90%). Quite the double positive.

(Sources: M. E. Design and Dave Hakkens)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Baby

Or shall we say “beannachtaí na féile pádraig!”? Either way, we hope you’re being a stereotypical celebrator of this Irish holiday–wearing all of your green garments, either drinking or at least thinking (daydreaming?) about drinking a Guinness, and insisting that your grandfather’s cousin’s uncle was half-Irish, so you are in the clear. For this fine holiday, we thought we’d share some of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day themed adverts from recent years.

St. Patrick’s Day is all about tradition, and we think this ad for Fujifilm from last March appeals to the nostalgia of bygone celebration. The copy, though somewhat hard to read, speaks of a distant memory that so many can relate to, conceptualizing the timelessness of a Fujifilm photo.

(Source: Coloribus)

Following the theme of tradition, McDonald’s clever promotion for its Shamrock Shake plays on the annual dying of the Chicago River. We’ve heard the shake isn’t quite appetizing, but really appreciate the advertiser’s optimisation of placement at a spectacle that gathers tens of thousands every year. The Shamrock Shake “spilled” into the River for the past two years.

(Source: Ads of the World)

The following ad from Durex employs the stereotypical Irish phrase “to be sure, to be sure.” We like the use of white space to make the product the main spectacle, and assume the green condoms are meant to resemble four leaf clovers, creating a second layer of play on “getting lucky.”

(Source: The Chip Chop Awards)

Finally, what would St. Patrick’s Day (or advertising, for that matter) be without Guinness? We love this one, calling all to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like a “real holiday,” and we couldn’t agree more!

So, as Durex advises, have a fun, safe St. Patrick’s Day!

Nature’s Music

You know those albums featuring the sound of rain falling, or waves crashing, that are meant to be calming and meditative? Well this is much more interesting. We came across this video today of sound designer/composer Diego Stocco playing a tree. By tuning the branches of a tree in his backyard with a pencil and plucking, bowing, or stethoscope-ing them, Stocco created a full song:

We were so intrigued that we sought out some more Diego Stocco productions, and this is what we found:

The most awesome part of the video above? Diego invented the instrument he is playing in it! It’s called the Experibass, and Diego was inspired to create it in order “to hear the sound of violin, viola and cello strings amplified through the body of a double bass.”

We love that Diego combines his artistically toned ear and appreciation for nature to create such beautiful music. He has an admirable ability to hear the beauty in things that  others hear without a second thought everyday.

(Sources: Boing Boing and DSSessionVideos)

Making CO2 Emissions Tangible

Do you know how much 350 grams of CO2 is? We can’t really imagine a solid image of how much CO2 that is, or how much it is affecting our environment when released into the atmosphere. Nitipak Samsen, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, acknowledged this intangibility and created the ATREEM (Automated Tree-Rental for Emission Encaging Machine) in order to make carbon emissions and carbon trading more understandable for everyone. He does this by creating a credit card operated tape measure that translates the amount of CO2 absorbed by the tree to that of the amount emitted by doing certain activities.

Turns out, 350 grams of CO2 is equivalent to a 10 minute ride on the tube. The tree shown above takes 2 days and 10 hours to offset that amount. How many times per week do you take a tube ride that is 10 minutes long? Maybe more like 45 minutes? Samsen wants to change the way the public thinks daily–how big is your carbon footprint in terms of the life of a tree?

While developing the ATREEM, Samsen also developed a Tree Tape for Kids. The tape acts as an arts and crafts project with a real learning experience behind it. Children, or anyone, can download the PDF for the file, follow the easy instructions, and voila! The tape compares the amount of CO2 absorbed in the tree (according to its type and width) to that of a more tangible amount –  from air travel and breathing to cheeseburgers and pints of lager.

We think these are two great ways to show children and adults the reality of our carbon footprint on a smaller, relatable scale. It’s also a very innovative combination of creative and scientific design that we commend for its modernity and simplicity.

(Sources: Dezeen and dotmancando)