In an arid, hot region, the prospect of a warmer globe is frightening, and our latest AnxietyIndex survey in the UAE found the impact of global warming is now among the drivers of anxiety here. But despite several educational initiatives from the government, consumers haven’t become significantly more green. There’s plenty of room for improvement: The World Resources Institute puts the UAE second only to Qatar in its ranking of countries by per-capita carbon emissions, reflecting years of an oil-rich economy growing at a very fast pace.
The World Wildlife Fund and the Emirates Wildlife Society are behind a visually compelling TV campaign to raise awareness about the link between the UAE’s carbon footprint and consumer behavior. A 2-minute-plus spot encourages people to “be wise about what you buy,” largely by purchasing more local products. “Choosing imported beef, for example, results in a cascade of environmental costs,” the narrator warns, then outlines what some of those are. The ad uses Visual Fluency (one of our trends for 2010) to draw viewers in, with animated newspaper cutouts illustrating the points.
The campaign seems like a good way to start dialing up existing anxiety and motivate behavioral change. It will be interesting to see whether local brands, which haven’t engaged in any real green initiatives so far, take up the cause.