A controversial advertisement made by an environmental conservation group, World Wild Foundation went viral in 2009. This advertisement intended to arouse public attention towards the hazardous harm which brought by the tsunami and promote environmental conservation. Nevertheless, a sea of criticism was triggered off. Why would an advertisement with positive message conveying receive huge criticism?
First, in this advertisement, it shows part of the video of the catastrophe. It is not appropriate to display the disaster repeatedly on TV since everyone could approach this medium easily. It would remind the bad memories of victims in the disaster if they have seen these scenes in their daily lives. The broadcasting would definitely affect the mental health of the American and the relevant parities and cause more pains on them.
Second, this advertisement aims to draw the public attention to the environmental conservation and encourage people to be more environmental friendly by creating crisis awareness. In 2001, two aircrafts crushed into the World Trade Center of New York and caused 2,819 deaths. The tsunami in 2005 killed 280,000 people. To show the destructive power of natural, the advertisement shows numbers of planes attack the New York World Trade Center. This imagery represents that even more planes attack the building, the number of death caused by it could not compare with that of the tsunami in 2005. It is ironic that reminding people of heartbreaking accident is one of the methods to enhance the environmental awareness of the world. It may be an unfair evaluation to human as it projects bad images of them. However, in reality, there is quite a number of groups which are concerned the environmental protection. The commercial may lopsidedly show the ruthlessness and selfishness of people on the environmental protection.
The most controversial part is the subtitle shown in the video, ‘In 2005, the tsunami killed 280,000 people. That is 100 times more than death in 911 incident. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.’ This statement literally shows the disrespect to the victims of 911 and their families. Both of the incidents of 911 and tsunami in 2005 caused catastrophic harm to victims and the world. Why would the advertisement compare these two hazardous incidents by comparing the number of death? It may show the stance of the foundation that it paid relatively less attention or concerns on 911 incident but the Indian Ocean tsunami. Moreover, the impoliteness and disrespect of the foundation to victims in 911 are shown.
All in all, I think that environmental protection is aroused by the promotions and actions of people. For example, people take the initiative to recycle useful materials and save energy by turn off the lights when it is idle. Then, the actions are imitated by others. Actions are contagious. The environmental awareness of people should be enhanced by their actions and influencing people surrounding them to join together.