Greenpeace, VW and the “Dark Side”

Something being discussed a lot at the moment in adland is this latest “viral video” from Greenpeace:

An obvious parody of the VW “superbowl” commercial from earlier this year and quite a clever one at that.

It made me laugh, but it didn’t make me think too much about VW’s emmission standards or stance on C02 regulations because, as one comment on YouTube puts it so bluntly: “Greenpeace need to go take a long, hard look at a Hummer”. Interesting sentiment, in fact on page 1 of the YouTube comments every one is negative, calling out Greenpeace for various things a good example: “Sure, it’s a well made little clip but it’s times like this I realise that a decent amount of donations to Greenpeace go straight to either some ad agency or a very well paid team of CGI experts. It just seems a bit too easy to rip off a clever advert when there are actually much bigger things to be fighting against. There are companies doing much much worse than just opposing a proposed CO2 reduction commitment.”

So is this a win for Greenpeace? Well it has started the conversation but generated a lot of negativity and people also seem very hung up on the fact that VW seem to have a decent environmental record, I guess that’s the power of CSR communications, maybe VW have successfully minimised the impact of this clever campaign by being so proactive with green issues generally, by marketing the “bluemotion range” well and getting messages out there like this (quote again from YouTube) “”Volkswagen’s Passat BlueTDI meets the upcoming 2014 Euro-6 emissions standards by emitting less than 80 mg/km of nitrogen oxide and 137 g/km of CO2.” I dont see what the fuss is all about. VW even invested 350 million in a single plant to reduce its Co2 emissions by 7000 tonnes a year.”

So nice work so far VW, proactive is good! But this vid still has 100k views in 1 day, and an “episode 2” has 20k hits so you’re not out of the woods yet…


One response to “Greenpeace, VW and the “Dark Side”

  1. Note also that Greenpeace have been smart about raising awareness of the campaign. For example, Old St roundabout (aka #SiliconRoundabout) was targeted yesterday by a campaigning Storm Trooper. Yes, I snagged a photo of him with one of my colleagues, and duly tweeted it – precisely the sort of engagement Greenpeace would be hoping for, and the very reason they targeted that location –

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