GSD&M Idea City and Lesley Chilcott Unscrew America

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It takes a bulb. That's the thinking behind GSD&M Idea City's fanciful campaign that recently launched to promote the new environmental organization Unscrew America. GSD&M is also a co-founder of UA, which is the brainchild of Lesley Chilcott—producer of An Inconvenient Truth (and, Creativity's Green Columnist). The organization encourages consumers to switch out their standard light bulbs for energy efficient CFLs or LEDs. "One of the things that I learned as a producer on An Inconvenient Truth is that there are so many people out there that are concerned about global warming but they're not sure where to start, and some don't realize how both their small actions and large actions could make a difference," Chilcott says. "Changing some light bulbs isn't a really huge investment, nor does it take a lot of time. Yet if every person just replaced five incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, it will have the same effect as taking 4 million cars off the road."

The quirky campaign includes print work featuring silly mutant characters , TV spots—including one starring former Mr. Pee-Wee Herman, Paul Reubens—and whimsically illustrated banners ads and website that make learning about light bulbs more exciting than Saturday morning cartoons."The creative work is ridiculously fun and fits with our theme that ridiculously good things could start to happen if we all change our bulbs," Chilcott explains. But it won't stop there. Another major effort of the movement is already underway in Austin, Texas. Under an initiative approved by mayor Will Wynn, Austin has become a test city for energy efficient lighting. "We're starting out with light bulbs in year one, then we will try to figure out how to Unscrew everything else," Chilcott says.
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