Covid for Social Change

As a result of this global health crisis, many people have had to break out of their routines and change the way they lead their lives. This has resulted in both social and environmental consequences. Some organisations have tried to leverage those consequences to enact social change.

Most notably, due to global stay at home orders, people around the world have now experienced what it means to be home and isolated all day long. They have experienced the negative effects that being isolated can have on a person’s morale. France’s organisation for the rights of handicapped people–APF or Association des paralysés de France–has cleverly leveraged this new experience that the world has collectively lived through in order to raise awareness for the difficulties that people living with handicaps have to endure all year long. If there is one thing that people learned from this crisis, it is that humans are social animals who crave human contact if isolated for too long. This clever PSA puts our two month confinement into perspective by forcing the viewer to consider what it would mean to have to adapt to this type of isolation all year round. Entitled #NowYouKnow (#MaintenantVousSavez), this campaign is a very clever piece of emotional marketing as it ties the organization’s cause to something that the viewer has recently experience. Covid quite literally helped the viewer see through the eyes of the marginalized people in question. Personally, it makes me reach for my walking shoes to go march with them every time I see this short spot.

A second major result of this global human health crisis is the noticeable improvement in planet health around the world. Air pollution has reduced in some cities to a point where it is actually breathable without a mask for the first time in years. In other cities, the decrease in air pollution has enabled citizens to see mountains and other natural beauties that were not visible a couple months ago. In other cities still, wildlife has easier access to beaches leading to an increased procreation of some endangered animals. All in all, the short two-month period of stay-at-home orders has clearly shown that humans wreak havoc on Earth’s ecosystem. Having invested in renewable energy, France’s public energy provider, EDF, is attempting to leverage the world’s guilt over their carbon footprint to convince potential customers to switch to something more sustainable. This is just one type of differentiation tactic that EDF has undertaken following the opening up of the field to private energy providers in 2007. In this campaign, EDF is betting that its potential customers are conflicted over whether to do the right thing for the environment or whether to continue to participate in social events and take advantage of their lives. Instead, it is proposing an alternative: guilt-free renewable energy. Essentially, the company is saying: “Continue to enjoy your life the way you want to by relying on renewable energy which is healthier for the planet.”

Which video did you find more convincing? Why?

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