Earth Day campaigns go virtual in quarantined celebrations of 50th anniversary
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of us will be spending the 50th anniversary of Earth Day confined to our homes. But even inside, we can appreciate the beauty of our planet, thanks to our gadgets.
This year’s theme is “Climate Action,” focusing on raising awareness for ways to combat climate change. Many brands are supporting the cause with virtual campaigns, some merging educational efforts with rallying cries for action.
NASA is celebrating Earth Day this year in a big way, all virtually. Today, NASA will air a special edition of “NASA Science Live” on YouTube with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who will discuss how the space agency's technology is helping the Earth. And astronaut Chris Cassidy, who just arrived at the International Space Station on April 9, will conduct a live Q&A on NASA TV at 12:10 p.m. EDT.
The organization is pairing its live events with a gif creator of satellite images, several Earth Day-themed podcasts and an “Earth Day at Home” toolkit filled with downloadable posters, educational materials, videos of NASA scientists and astronauts, and photo essays. Fans are encouraged to share how they’re celebrating Earth Day this year with the hashtag #EarthDayAtHome. Expect to see a lot of photos of people on their couches in front of their TVs, or the outside world shot from inside through windows.
On top of all that, NASA has partnered with LEGO to develop a special challenge for LEGO’s #LetsBuildTogether campaign, which calls on creators to build rainbows using LEGO blocks and share them with friends.
NASA is also posting several videos on its YouTube channel on Earth day. One looks back at 50 years of Earth Day using satellite images, another shows how NASA technology helps us understand Earth, while astronauts Andrew Morgan and astronaut Jessica Meir, who recently returned to Earth, created a video about how Earth looks from space.
Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future
Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg got the attention of world leaders and millions of people on the planet at the World Economic Forum at Davos last year. Her words: “Our house is on fire” take center stage in a new Earth Day short film on behalf of her organization Fridays for Future. The minute-long clip, created by FF LA, shows a family getting ready for their day as flames begin to burn down their home. Along with sharing the film, Fridays for Future will host a 24-hour livestream strike for climate change.
Read more about the spot here.
Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network, which works with thousands of organizations in 200 countries to organize Earth Day events, is hosting Earth Day Live, a 24-hour virtual concert and rally with a mixture of famous speakers and musicians. People can watch the likes of Bill Nye, Jason Mraz, Elizabeth Warren, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson at Earthday.org. On every hour, Earth Day Live will suggest actions people can take to take a stand against climate change.
PepsiCo’s SodaStream factory in Israel produces over 30 million plastic bottles a year, and that number is only growing. To reduce plastic waste, the sparkling-water brand is making a giant, impactful change. It’s switching all its flavors from plastic bottles to metal ones. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the U.S. 70 percent of metals are fully recycled, compared to only 15 percent of plastics. The alteration should prevent 200 million more single-use plastic bottles entering the environment over the next five years, according to the company. SodaStream is also placing solar panels on its production plant and plans to shift to natural gas, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
“Environmental protection and preservation has always been a pillar of SodaStream’s larger mission as a company. Earth Day this year is different. Given that it falls amidst the COVID-19 outbreak as shelter-in-place ordinances have gone into effect across the globe, we have seen the impact of our actions on the environment,” said Karin Schifter-Maor, global chief marketing officer of SodaStream, in a statement. “It was important for SodaStream to share this message on Earth Day this year to remind everyone that their actions do make a difference.”
SodaStream also has an Earth Day video showing animals in their home environments with the soundtrack “What a Wonderful World.”
Tired of the action-packed pandemic-themed films on all the streaming sites lately? Cooler brand Yeti understands that many people right now could really benefit from a chillout sesh. Taking a lighter note than other Earth Day campaigns, it has created the streaming site Yeti+ (no doubt a fun nod at Disney+ or Apple TV+), where you’ll find only streams of actual streams. The streams (videos) are all around 10 minutes long and feature streams (bodies of water) from Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, California, Texas and Canada, filled with the comforting sounds of nature.
“We’ll be back outside before we know it. Until then, kick back, grab a cold one, and wet your appetite for the wild with one of our streams,” reads the site.
For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Timberland is sharing an emotional letter to nature. “Now that we’re so distant from you, we truly understand how much you really mean to us,” says a child narrator in a new video being shared to the footwear brand’s websites and social media channels. The video was produced by New York-based studio Small.
Along the with the video, Timberland is pledging to plant 50 million trees by 2025, and will host 50 service events to better the Earth, once the pandemic is over.
“Nature is at the core of who we are, not only as a brand, but as a global community of citizens. We feel this now more than ever,” said Argu Secilmis, vice president of global marketing for Timberland, in a statement. “With this video, we hope to inspire people around the world to be heroes for nature and protect what we love.”
Read more about the campaign here.
This Earth Day, Hyundai has partnered with K-pop group BTS for a new video that reaffirms the automaker’s commitment to a sustainable future. In two-minute and 60-sec versions of the video posted on Hyundai Worldwide’s YouTube channel on Earth Day, the pop stars are shown in various landscapes that showcase the diverse beauty of the Earth, from “emerald oceans” to “sun-kissed deserts.”
The video is part of the automaker’s Global Hydrogen Campaign, and features Hyundai’s fuel cell electric vehicle NEXO, one of the vehicles involved in a recall due to faulty Smart Parking Assist technology. Hyundai still plans on running the new films on TV on major networks around the world over the next few weeks.
"We hope this film will inspire our customers and fans around the world to take care of our planet in commemoration of Earth Day," said Wonhong Cho, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Hyundai, in a statement.
BTS is a global brand ambassador for Hyundai, targeting millennials with the brand’s sustainable efforts, using the hashtag #BecauseofYou. Earlier this year, the pop group starred in another film screened in Times Square. BTS members are also taking part in Hyundai’s #DarkSelfieChallenge, a social media campaign launched on April 13 that encourages people to share selfies taken with flashlights so they can participate in the holiday, even though they are at home.
This week marks both Earth Day and National Parks Week. Due to the pandemic, national parks are still closed to visitors and people are staying indoors, so Michelob Ultra Pure Gold is getting creative to connect people to nature today.
Those who tune in to Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful livestream and watch the geyser erupt can tweet using the hashtags #GoldFaithful and #Sweepstakes, and tag @MichelobUltra, for the chance to win a year’s supply of Michelob Ultra Pure Gold. The brand will award the prize to one person for every eruption, from sunrise to sunset. The effort comes from FCB. The brand is also donating $1 to the National Park Foundation for each case of Pure Gold sold from April 22 to May 22.
Plant-based egg maker Just’s campaign is actually beginning the day after Earth Day because, to the startup, that’s when the real work starts. The brand’s campaign is based on the idea that Earth Day is every day, and is advocating that eating sustainable foods (like its egg product), will do much to help our environment.
Across social media, Just is sharing food-related environmental facts and is encouraging followers to share the sustainable meals they’re eating in videos or photos on social with the hashtag #EarthEveryDay.
Last week, Apple released an animated “Apple Original” short film on Apple TV+ featuring a 7-year-old boy who learns about his planet. The film “Here We Are: Notes for a Living Planet Earth” —adapted from the children’s book of the same name by Oliver Jeffers—is narrated by Meryl Streep and created by Studio Aka.
For all the parents staying inside with their kids during Earth Day, National Geographic is here for you. The nature-focused media company is encouraging kids to design animal scenes using sidewalk chalk sketches, original drawings, or the animal coloring pages it provides, and to share them on social media with the hashtag #NatGeoEarthDayatHome. The brand will then share them on social to its millions of followers.