Different Techniques Used in the Greenpeace Advert

Greenpeace is an independent organization that campaigns to protect the environment. It has some 2.9 million members in 158 countries, 169,000 of these in the United Kingdom, and maintains 29 national and 3 multinational offices worldwide. Greenpeace campaigns against environmental abuse, through non-violent direct action. Activists draw public attention to such abuse by hazardous interventions, and have, in the past, entered nuclear test zones, blocked toxic effluent pipes, placed themselves between whale and harpoon, and steered inflatable dinghies under dangerous waste drums. Their main purpose is to alert the world to the problems that our ignorance could cause. The piece is an advert from a video. Many techniques are used in it.

The adverts first scene starts with a black screen, which after a couple of seconds words appear in the middle of the screen, they say “Why have this?” In the next image these words fade away to be replaced a second later by “When it causes this…” The screen melts away into a dramatic slide show, which shows all the problems in the world today that we can help to change. The music that features in the advert plays an essential part in setting the scene. The music changes three times in the advert, it follows the mood of the scene and creates the right atmosphere. The first type is intense, loud and fast. It sounds like an electrical thunder sound.

This sound goes well with the destruction and chaos of the opening sequence. The tempo of the music matches the speed of the images (still and moving)-in half a minute about 20 images are shown. Each image leaves a lasting impression and some are even emotional and get the picture of the earth’s demise. In the opening sequence there are examples of extreme close up-when the man is shielding his face with his hand (it is so close you can almost see the fear in the mans eyes). This image is subtlety hinting that no-one can hide from what will happen if we continue down the path we are on however we can all do something to prevent this. Another camera shot used in this scene is the very long shot of the vast oil field, which has destroyed the environment.

Still images including the dead bear surrounded by oil and the neglected child (extreme close up) are quite moving and you realise the plight that the world is in. At the beginning of the first sequence there is an image of the world. Thunderstorms fill the world. This is dramatic and chaotic. It is out of control, the world is no longer ours to neglect. It is now fighting back against the maltreatment it has received from the harshness of mankind over the years. After the world releases its rage the first words are spoken “Cataclysm is forecast for the world” .

This phrase compliments the image of a rebelling world. Also in the opening sequence during the thunderstorm a cross is illuminated from behind by an electric blue flash, this adds to the loss of control in the chaotic background, which surrounds the earth, but the cross also symbolises that there is still some hope for humanity (as Jesus brought us hope when he died on the cross). Then there is a halt in the images and music alike. We return to the backdrop with white text stating.

“When we could have this” The mood changes completely to a pleasant, chilled, calm and tranquil sound. The camera shows the ways we could save the world. It shows the wind farm in the North Sea that could provide the entire countries energy. The slow rotating action of the windmills blades slow down the tempo of the advert and make the scene much more calm and chilled out. The camera zooms out and pans across the shot showing it from a different perspective-a tilted frame effect. There is also wording across the bottom of the screen which says”Clean, Safe, Renewable Energy”.

This is the end of the second sequence. The final sequence is shorter than both its predecessors. The background sound is that of birds twittering and a voice is heard saying “Without clean green energy our planet is…” With this planet earth explodes. Finally an image of a dandelion is depicted. The narrative’s voice then whispers in a young persons voice “Spread the Word” The words are uttered so quietly you have to strain to hear. In a final effort to get the message across the dandelion is blown and its seeds are spread. This is what we must do to spread the word of peace – the word of Greenpeace.