With Chinese Earth Hour App, Edit the Smog Out of Photos

WWF Campaigns from Ogilvy, BBH Tackle China's Horrendous Air Pollution

By Published on .

In China's polluted megacities, smoggy gray sky is the new normal. An iPhone app from WWF lets people edit the smog out of their photos and turn the skies back to blue.

The app from OgilvyOne Beijing, and an online campaign from BBH China, are helping WWF generate awareness on air pollution for Saturday's Earth Hour.

People who download Ogilvy's iPhone app use their fingertip to color on the screen, turning skies blue. They can share before-and-after photos on Chinese social media networks Sina Weibo and WeChat, and sign a WWF petition.

BBH, meanwhile, is helping WWF mark Earth Hour by using digital "smog" to block major Chinese sites, including Youku, Tencent and Ren Ren.

The campaign, starting at 8:30 p.m. local time and lasting an hour, uses IP addresses to locate users' cities and give them a real-time reading of the pollution level there. It's a followup from a campaign last year that blacked out screens on top Chinese sites.

BBH's campaign blocks web portals with smog.
BBH's campaign blocks web portals with smog.

"The one place that people can hide from air pollution with no problem is in their digital lives," said Darius Karbassioun, head of engagement planning for BBH China, in a statement. "By hijacking netizens' favorite websites with smog, we would give them no choice but to confront the problem head on."

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