In terms of environmental messages, this is one we haven't seen before. This funny but creepy public service ad from WildAid and McCann Shanghai imagines a future where China's pollution gets so bad that human nose hair evolves to filter the air people breathe.
Everyone -- kids, adults, even dogs -- sprouts thick hair from their nostrils. Children wear it in braids; hipsters style it into elaborate nose-mustaches. A billboard in the background touts a nasal hair product promising "shiny flutter," and the mane tumbling from the model's nostrils is Pantene-worthy. "Change air pollution before it changes you," is the tagline.
The "Hairy Nose" spot is for WildAid's "GOblue" program in China, which encourages people to choose environmentally friendly transportation. As the group points out in a release, all 366 Chinese cities recently tested failed to meet World Health Organization air quality standards. In a WildAid survey last year, the group found that "the top ways respondents believe air quality can be improved are all government-led actions. "Hairy Nose" reminds citizens that they can make a difference, too."
China has produced a lot of interesting creative work lately on the theme of air pollution. Local air purifier company Xiao Zhu, working with Y&R Shanghai, projected photos of crying children onto nighttime smog. A spot from BBH China, commissioned by state-run broadcaster CCTV, featured a talking CGI fetus and forced people to think about what it was like for newborns to inhale China's air.
Still, discussion of smog can be sensitive, especially if it involves government criticism. A year ago, a documentary about air pollution got hundreds of millions of views on Chinese online video platforms before it was censored, reportedly on orders of the Communist Party's propaganda department.