Campuses Beyond Coal seeks talented ad agency

Grist just passed along the first of three advertisements that are part of Sierra’s Campuses Beyond Coal campaign. The theme, apparently, is that coal is dirty even by the standards of slovenly college students.

I’m hard pressed to see much of anything positive here. Visually and vocally, the “coal is dirty” message is presented in a juvenile and condescending way. It offers little that would motivate viewers to go the link at the end. And it is so obviously staged–it lacks all of the creativity, energy, and authenticity that is driving climate activism on campuses.

I suspect there are many college students who make something far more compelling than this. Sierra’s campaign otherwise seems smart–what happened here?


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1 Response to Campuses Beyond Coal seeks talented ad agency

  1. Liz Miller says:

    I would tend to agree with designating the message as juvenile. As a college student it bothers me that the message is one of disparagement. Since I am a college student it is implied that I put up with slovenliness? If the ad is aimed at mobilizing student support, it seems a strange way to go about it. If the ad is aimed at those who make decisions about coal-fired plants on college campuses, it would seem that spending their time, effort, and resources on greening college energy sources is a laughable endeavor.

    The Sierra Student Coalition’s website is one of empowerment and inclusion; I’m not sure why they would take such a divisive tack here. Does you know if the ad was student produced?

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