Environmental Viral Ad Darkly Spoofs The Lego Movie - Update

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Environmental Viral Ad Darkly Spoofs The Lego Movie - Update

Greenpeace hits toymaker where its movie is

Update: After a three-month campaign spurred by Greenpeace's viral video, LEGO has announced it will not renew its contract with Shell.

Original Story:

LEGO is one of the most popular toy brands in the world. The LEGO Movie was the early surprise smash-hit of 2014. Both have inspired countless viral videos, usually in the form of homage or parody. But a new LEGO-themed video that hit the web on Tuesday is aiming for sad and ominous instead of humor. Depicting a diorama of LEGO figures - including LEGO Movie leads Emmet and WyldStyle - being consumed by an arctic oil spill to the tune of a downbeat remix of "Everything is Awesome."

The (already controversial) video, titled "Everything is NOT awesome" is in actuality a production of Greenpeace, one of the most well known environmental-activism organizations in the world. What's their beef with LEGO? As the video indicates: It's about the oil industry - the Shell oil corporation, specifically - which the video describes as "poisoning our kids' imaginations" at its conclusion.

Since 1977, LEGO has occasionally entered into partnership with Shell in which the oil and gas giant's logo and other branding appears on certain gas/automotive-themed LEGO playsets (gas stations, tanker trucks, etc). Greenpeace has been leading the mostly successful charge to keep Shell from what it believes to be unsafe and environmentally-destructive drilling in Arctic waters. They contend that Shell is using its association with LEGO as a way to repair the damage done to their image by a series of accidents in 2013 (which largely led to the Arctic drilling ban), and have been "in talks" with LEGO on the subject. The video, which links to an online petition asking LEGO to end the partnership, is said to be in response to said talks "going nowhere" according to Greenpeace.

In response, LEGO has touted their established corporate commitments to the environment, but neither company has indicated that they have any intention of ending the partnership.

Sources: Greenpeace, Forbes

Permalink

Is that Game of Thrones at the 50 seconds mark? :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhbliUq0_r4#t=50

And why does Lego need to support Shell? Seems like a weird connection.

4RM3D:
Is that Game of Thrones at the 50 seconds mark? :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhbliUq0_r4#t=50

LotR warg and GoT Jon Snow.

Why did this make me smile? Seriously!

That video is as toxic as the chemicals being pumped into the ocean.

Making people feel guilty because a product they love and their kids love support a environmentally unfriendly group is pretty fucking shitty in my opinion. Making lego characters look like starving African kids to make people identify with things that don't exist is a bit twisted. The Shell connection is too abstract and the video provokes a nihilistic and hopeless message which doesn't do anything but depress people. Depression is not synonymous with change. If the video featured parents and kids dismantling industrial legos and reconstructing them into machines of change I could get behind it. Nope Lego is evil. Therefore fuck it.

I think they went too far with the oil. If they'd just shown a couple of figures and animals "drowning" and stopped there it would be alright, but having the oil rise over everything just leaves me apathetic.

kailus13:
I think they went too far with the oil. If they'd just shown a couple of figures and animals "drowning" and stopped there it would be alright, but having the oil rise over everything just leaves me apathetic.

See, it rising over everything is fine, I think.

It rising over a single lone chihuahua and SANTA is me thinking they're trying WAY too hard.

Chessrook44:

kailus13:
I think they went too far with the oil. If they'd just shown a couple of figures and animals "drowning" and stopped there it would be alright, but having the oil rise over everything just leaves me apathetic.

See, it rising over everything is fine, I think.

It rising over a single lone chihuahua and SANTA is me thinking they're trying WAY too hard.

That was a chihuahua? I thought it was a baby bear or something.

After watching it again, Emmet's still smiling for some reason. Santa just looks annoyed, like he's been through this before.

kailus13:

Chessrook44:

kailus13:
I think they went too far with the oil. If they'd just shown a couple of figures and animals "drowning" and stopped there it would be alright, but having the oil rise over everything just leaves me apathetic.

See, it rising over everything is fine, I think.

It rising over a single lone chihuahua and SANTA is me thinking they're trying WAY too hard.

That was a chihuahua? I thought it was a baby bear or something.

After watching it again, Emmet's still smiling for some reason. Santa just looks annoyed, like he's been through this before.

He has, Exxon Valdez. Just got the last of the tar out of the reindeer's fur and everything.

Been a long time since I've seen a Shell kit. Seems to all be Octan as far as I can tell from my kids blocks. I do remember Shell kits from the eighties though.

Captcha: mimsy borogoves

...and the mome raths outgrabe...

kailus13:

Chessrook44:

kailus13:
I think they went too far with the oil. If they'd just shown a couple of figures and animals "drowning" and stopped there it would be alright, but having the oil rise over everything just leaves me apathetic.

See, it rising over everything is fine, I think.

It rising over a single lone chihuahua and SANTA is me thinking they're trying WAY too hard.

That was a chihuahua? I thought it was a baby bear or something.

After watching it again, Emmet's still smiling for some reason. Santa just looks annoyed, like he's been through this before.

To be fair wouldn't you be pissed if that continually happened to you?

In all seriousness, all this did was leave me apathetic... and then angry... because seriously, this type of emotional manipulation isn't cool from anyone, regardless of the reasoning the message could have been communicated more positively and it makes me just... meh towards greenpeaces efforts.

A bit stronge there GP, but totally agree with you. It's a very insidious relationship lego has with shell. It's like having having a video game about joe camel.

After watching this video I have come to conclusion that Greenpeace might not like Shell very much.

I think.

I might have to watch the video a few dozen more times to get their incredibly subtle point with Santa Claus and baby animals drowning in oil.

Eh, screw Greenpeace. Seriously, that can't be said enough. They border on being a terrorist organization. The organization is vile and their tactics usually cause more harm than good. That being said if making Youtube videos means they spend less time actually endangering other people then who am I to stop them.

I wonder what they did with the Legos after they covered them in oil; did they throw them away?

Also, for some reason, I thought at first that they were drilling chocolate syrup. Because my mind couldn't put together fantastical whimsy of Lego toys and cruel reality of effect of oil drilling.

Well,time to go cut my wrists.

Is it bad that I was laughing the whole time. To me lego and depression just don't go togeather.

octafish:

kailus13:

Chessrook44:

See, it rising over everything is fine, I think.

It rising over a single lone chihuahua and SANTA is me thinking they're trying WAY too hard.

That was a chihuahua? I thought it was a baby bear or something.

After watching it again, Emmet's still smiling for some reason. Santa just looks annoyed, like he's been through this before.

He has, Exxon Valdez. Just got the last of the tar out of the reindeer's fur and everything.

Been a long time since I've seen a Shell kit. Seems to all be Octan as far as I can tell from my kids blocks. I do remember Shell kits from the eighties though.

Captcha: mimsy borogoves

...and the mome raths outgrabe...

Santa seen some things man stuff that would make you. Stuff that make you crawl home to ya mama. Santa santa seen the end no one was spared not even the children.

Unless they shut shell down, I'm going to keep purchasing Shell Gas. Before I get tagged with "hates the environment" or some crap,

Fact is, Shell gas burns in the vehicle I use so well and so efficiently I use about half the gas I'd use from the other local brands. Given the price of gas, I'll stick to the one that works best. Sure it sucks that they're damaging the environment(as are most if not all Oil Companies.) but we suck Big Oil's Dick because they've got the money and we're creatures of habit. Using Lego to get your guilt ridden point across is not cool.

Well well, now I have a conundrum: Do I hate GP more for this cheap, ham-fisted attempted at emotional manipulation, or for being a borderline terrorist organization that is more or less the environmentalist equivalent of PETA? Choices choices.

4RM3D:
Is that Game of Thrones at the 50 seconds mark? :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhbliUq0_r4#t=50

And why does Lego need to support Shell? Seems like a weird connection.

Plastic is made out of oil.

I like the video but not really the message.

Plastic is an oil product, I think that is probably the part that connects both companies the most and with that Lego uses Shell for the toys that would have a random oil company.

I dont really support the ideals behind Shell but I dont really see why Lego is the one supposed to suffer in this situation, they very likely need an oil partnership since their product is so dependant of it and if it isnt Shell then its some other terrible oil company.

Lego doesnt need that much oil so if the interest in oil dropped they wouldnt suffer from it and the oil companies wouldnt go so far of their ways to get oil (they also wouldnt be the huge companies they are now), oil as a fueling system is the problem, not as a toy component, so they really need to re-aim their sights because the only one that suffers from Lego dropping the deal is Lego itself.

4RM3D:
And why does Lego need to support Shell? Seems like a weird connection.

Plastics are made from oil, I imagine Lego supporting Shell gets them cheaper raw material for making more lego.

Oh wow.

WE ARE GREENPEACE. THE HAPPINESS STOPS HERE.

I mean, jesus, I'm not one to cry "WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?" much, but this advert is available to watch online, to everyone, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it on TV, wouldn't it make all the kids cry if they saw Emmett and co drown in a fucking pool of tar that proceeds to cover the entire arctic?

Like, I mean, ALL THE FUCKING KIDS. Sweet jesus, fuck the tar, between this and brazil losing the world cup, we're gonna drown in tears.

Of course, it's an important issue, and I'd be lying if I said that I was completely comfortable with any partnerships between toy companies and big oil corporations, but goddamn. That's just cruel.

A rule of thumb for future activist short films: If making a parody, make sure the parody meshes well with the original work.

I am saddened by the fact that Greenpeace hasn't learned from PETA's lack of subtlety in their "parody" games.

Ickorus:
Plastics are made from oil, I imagine Lego supporting Shell gets them cheaper raw material for making more lego.

Bruce:
Plastic is made out of oil.

Yeah, but to go as far as to support Shell. Maybe it's indeed because Lego made a sweet deal. Or maybe it's for product placement?

MovieBob:
Since 1977, Lego has occasionally entered into partnership with Shell by which the oil and gas giant's logo and other branding appears on certain gas/automotive-themed Lego playsets (gas stations, tanker trucks, etc).

4RM3D:

Ickorus:
Plastics are made from oil, I imagine Lego supporting Shell gets them cheaper raw material for making more lego.

Bruce:
Plastic is made out of oil.

Yeah, but to go as far as to support Shell. Maybe it's indeed because Lego made a sweet deal. Or maybe it's for product placement?

MovieBob:
Since 1977, Lego has occasionally entered into partnership with Shell by which the oil and gas giant's logo and other branding appears on certain gas/automotive-themed Lego playsets (gas stations, tanker trucks, etc).

Either way, it such a decision might come back to bite them far down the line. That's what I noted when I typed out a message to the LEGO Group.

Yes, I barely support Greenpeace. Used to have a subscription donation, but had to cancel due to money matters.

luvd1:
A bit stronge there GP, but totally agree with you. It's a very insidious relationship lego has with shell. It's like having having a video game about joe camel.

How dare a plastic toy company support the production of what plastic's made of? And also what gets it to the stores?

major_chaos:
Well well, now I have a conundrum: Do I hate GP more for this cheap, ham-fisted attempted at emotional manipulation, or for being a borderline terrorist organization that is more or less the environmentalist equivalent of PETA? Choices choices.

Why not both? Both seem acceptable here.

I'd love them to come up with solutions instead of, you know, demonizing childhood memories and chaining themselves to logging zones that are quite frankly harvested and reseeded because the US already has a vast span of untouchable natural forests.

Nieroshai:

luvd1:
A bit stronge there GP, but totally agree with you. It's a very insidious relationship lego has with shell. It's like having having a video game about joe camel.

How dare a plastic toy company support the production of what plastic's made of? And also what gets it to the stores?

Fair point... Though they could have small kiddies on bikes deliver thier bricks to the shops... No, there's a flaw there some where. Could they make the bricks out of something else like... Ivory?

Lono Shrugged:
That video is as toxic as the chemicals being pumped into the ocean.

I was gonna reference that too, except I was gonna point-out that this video pours it on thicker than the oil they used.

I'm inclined to agree with the people pointing out that it's so blatantly exaggerated that it's hard to merit any kind of response beyond "Meh". I think the problem is that this video is made for people who are already on-board. It's preaching to the choir. If you want to get more people to your cause, you have to dial it down first. You don't start someone on a reading habit by giving them War and Peace, and you don't get people to agree with a cause they don't already support by slapping them across the face with your message.

Still relevant after four years...

Until there is a way to manufacture hard plastic from more sustainable sources with the same cost and quality as that of the petroleum derived material, the oil companies are a necessary evil. If I had a toy company whose products are 99% plastic, I would prefer to sweep such a relationship under the rug rather than openly display it.

Color me surprised that Shell-branded Lego sets are still around; I thought they had been discontinued for good back when the Octan stations showed up. Except maybe in revivals of classic sets.

Lono Shrugged:
Making people feel guilty because a product they love and their kids love support a environmentally unfriendly group is pretty fucking shitty in my opinion. Making lego characters look like starving African kids to make people identify with things that don't exist is a bit twisted. The Shell connection is too abstract and the video provokes a nihilistic and hopeless message which doesn't do anything but depress people. Depression is not synonymous with change. If the video featured parents and kids dismantling industrial legos and reconstructing them into machines of change I could get behind it. Nope Lego is evil. Therefore fuck it.

It's strikingly similar to the attitude I've seen a lot of people have toward the video game and movie industries, to be honest.

Steve the Pocket:

It's strikingly similar to the attitude I've seen a lot of people have toward the video game and movie industries, to be honest.

Said attitude is?

Lono Shrugged:
Making lego characters look like starving African kids to make people identify with things that don't exist is a bit twisted.

What's not existing? Starving African children? A cooperation between Lego and Shell? Lego characters?

I genuinely don't understand what you're referring to.

Am I missing something here? Lego is plastic which is a byproduct of oil. Well ok it not like Shell make the lego and I did read that the connection is that Lego make Shell label toy oil truck etc.
Overall I doubt Lego are moved by the ad rather that they are probably offended by it covering their products in black liquid or making their own ending to their movie.

Scarim Coral:
Am I missing something here? Lego is plastic which is a byproduct of oil. Well ok it not like Shell make the lego and I did read that the connection is that Lego make Shell label toy oil truck etc.
Overall I doubt Lego are moved by the ad rather that they are probably offended by it covering their products in black liquid or making their own ending to their movie.

Personally, I would do a spoof like this.

Pres. Business: Tell me why I should agree to this deal?
Nutshell Executive: Just simply put my logo on to your latest toy line and I'll happily supply the materials for cheap.
Pres. Business: Oh really?
(Pres. Business turns on video monitor showing Emmet)
Pres. Business: Emmet, what's the situation?

Emmet: Whew what a day its been barely made it. But we've still... kinda got a big mess over here.
Wyldstyle: Whose big dumb idea was it to build the oil platform 10 feet from this?! (pans to a lovely arctic scene).
(Pres. Business turns off monitor)
Pres. Business: I have enough bad rep as it is without your stupidness rubbing off on me. The deal's off and get out of my office before I call the robots.
Nutshell Executive: But...
Pres. Business: Robots! (Lots of robots appear behind Pres. Business)

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