“Do or I’ll detonate” – shocking climate change messaging

Guest Blog – Georgina Combes

No pressure” is the new mini movie launched by the 10:10 campaign today. Featuring shock tactics and Monty Python style ‘sick’ humour, the main message is: reduce your carbon emissions or we’ll push the detonate button on you.

Watch it here:

Reactions so far have been varied, even in the Incite office. Is the film’s shocking and grotesque imagery the wake up call the public and businesses need to take climate change seriously? Or is its humour way off the mark and comparable to condemning non-believers of religion to hell?

Whichever camp you take, reactions are likely to be extreme. You’ll love or hate it. Personally,  I had a head in my hands, “no, no, no, this is so wrong” moment while watching it. I really don’t think it’s going to do the 10:10 campaign any favours. It’s as though environmental campaigning has not learnt any messages over the last two decades that scaring and alienating people doesn’t work. If I wasn’t already committed to the ideals of sustainable living then this viral would not convince me I should be. More likely it would turn me away from greenie extremism. There is nothing inclusive or welcoming about it. And it doesn’t follow any of the rules for engagement that psychology can teach us about our response to climate change.

No pressure, but what do you think?

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6 Responses to “Do or I’ll detonate” – shocking climate change messaging

  1. Helen Spoor says:

    I agree George, I had a similar reaction when I opened my emails and found the link.

    Whatever 10:10’s reason behind this…spoof zombie-gore, or shock-scare tactics – I feel like we’ve learnt nothing. For people that aren’t entirely convinced by the seriousness of the issue or what we’re trying to do, this will just give them the ammunition and excuse to turn and walk away.

    I’m really interested to see how people will react and the effect this will have on the campaign. My worry is it could be a very bad move…but let’s see.

  2. Monica Graaff says:

    I agree. Unless you are talking major disasters (like natural or nuclear) – events that really focus the mind – you are not going to convince people to change with scare tactics. Black Adder’s etc famous credentials aside, campaigning for the current environmental crisis calls for a far more sophisticated set of tools. People need to be informed enough to believe they are at risk and equipped to feel empowered to respond. Otherwise, its history. People are people. The environmental movement needs to get politically smart at this point, not funny (though we hope we keep our sense of humour for a few laughs.)

  3. Jonathon Hanks says:

    The 10:10 campaign has since withdrawn the video and issued the following statement:

    Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called ‘No Pressure’.

    With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain’s leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis – writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others – agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.

    As a result of these concerns we’ve taken it off our website.

    We’d like to thank the 50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras and who gave their time and equipment to the film for free. We greatly value your contributions and the tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism you brought to the project.

    At 10:10 we’re all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.

    Onwards and upwards,

    Eugenie, Franny, Daniel, Lizzie and the whole 10:10 team

    Further commentary on this available here:

  4. Teri Kruger says:

    I’m sorry – with all the violence we have in our world, how can ANYONE find humour in this? Grossly shocking. There is no way that I, or one of organisations I represent (www.childsafe.org.za), can condone a deliberate betrayal of killing children! We are inadvertently harming our most innocent citizens through our lack of attention to their needs and then we can add the damage to our planet that will become their legacy. Positive messaging motivates positive action. Else we will all just deflate into despair.

  5. Jonathon Hanks says:

    Interesting commentary on this issue here, although some might not agree with the suggested choice of four violent ads that DO work:
    “No Pressure”: the cognitive science behind why 10:10 got their “framing” wrong

  6. Pingback: Light where the sun doesn’t shine | Incite – Leading Sustainability

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