Earth Month: Iceland Foods — Say Hello To Rang-tan

Iceland’s co-opting of the Greenpeace No Palm Oil campaign ad initially captures the neural engagement of audiences, but quickly sinks as the ad explores the devastating issues at work in the destruction of orangutan habitat due to palm oil extraction. 

Screened October 2018 | 69 general population brains | Cross-screen | Toronto, Canada | General Content Benchmarks

Screened October 2018 | 69 general population brains | Cross-screen | Toronto, Canada | General Content Benchmarks

What engages?

[0:00-0:16]

  • The opening moments drive peak Attention, emotional Connection and Encoding to memory. A small cartoon orangutan swings around a bedroom. 

  • “There’s a rang tan in my bedroom and I don’t know what to do. She plays with all my teddys and keeps borrowing my show. She destroys all of my houseplants and she keeps on shouting “Oooh”. She throws away my chocolate and she howls at my shampoo”

What fails to engage?

[0:19-0:24; 0:30-0:35; 0:38-0:48; 1:01-1:20; 1:22-1:27]

  • “There’s a Rang-tan in my bedroom and I don’t want her to stay, so I told the naughty Rang-tan that she had to go away”

  • Close up on sad face of Rang-tan, zoom into its eyes and through to the Rang-tan’s forest with VO: “There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do”. 

  • VO: “They destroyed all of our trees for your food and your shampoo. There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do. He took away my mother and I’m scared he’ll take me too.” Images of Rang-tan trying to escape the claws of huge machinery destroying forests. 

  • VO: “I’ll fight to save your home and I’ll stop you feeling blue. I’ll share your story far and wide so others can fight too. Oh Rang-tan in my bedroom, I swear it on the stars, the future’s not yet written, but I’ll make sure it’s ours. Images of the young girl and Rang-tan in the young girl’s bedroom taking action.

  • Text on screen: “Until all palm oil causes zero rainforest destruction, we’re removing palm oil from all our own label products”

Additional thoughts: 

Does the cartoon and rhyme tone of the approach trivialize the issue? Other Brainsightsresearch on the use of rhyme in ads, for example, has shown that most lack the creative stamina to bring people all the way through to the conclusion of the ad. 


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