Greenpeace doesn’t often opt for subtlety in its campaigns. It’s a bold, blood and guts advertiser. So this elegant campaign by Duval Guillaume, in support of the vanishing Amazon rainforest, stands out not only because its installation is 23 metres wide and 3 metres high, but also because the campaign is strikingly different for the organisation.
The campaign message is that we only realise how much we miss something when it’s gone.
It is delivered in a sign, I amazonia, installed in front of Amsterdam’s world-famous Rijksmuseum. The sign is a twist on one of Europe’s most photographed tourist attractions – the giant I amsterdam letters which stood in front of the museum until December 2018. The letters had been one of the most Instagrammed, photographed, and recognised landmarks in Europe, and their removal was not well received by the general public.
In Greenpeace’s blog post, Sigrid Deters, forest and biodiversity campaigner at Greenpeace Netherlands, stated “Our capital city’s iconic ‘I amsterdam’ sign, set in front of the Rijksmuseum, drew the admiration and camera lenses of millions of people worldwide. By bringing it back in altered state as ‘I amazonia,’ Greenpeace not only calls for the urgent protection of the largest remaining rainforest in the world, but also sends a strong message of solidarity to the Indigenous People and traditional communities who are protecting the Amazon against deforestation.”
The campaign asks people to sign a petition to save the Amazon from logging, mining, oil extraction and expanding industrial agriculture and livestock.
Danicley de Aguiar, senior forest campaign at Greenpeace Brazil, noted, “Further deforestation of the Amazon rainforest will compound catastrophic impacts of climate breakdown, both in Brazil and globally. The climate crisis is the gravest emergency in human history and plans to allow further exploitation of the Amazon are not only a threat for Indigenous Peoples who live there, but a hammer blow to any hope of keeping the planet’s temperature from rising beyond 1.5ºC. Brazilians welcome the solidarity from Amsterdam and Europe: I too am Amsterdam. We are all Amazonia, and I hope people and leaders all over the world will reflect upon the possibility of losing what they hold dearest and take urgent action.”
The campaign was triggered by Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to open the Amazon for exploitation. This threatens the forest and the Indigenous Peoples depending on it. “Contrary to the Amsterdam tourist attraction, the Amazon rainforest is a landmark that no one can afford to lose,” Greenpeace stated.
Koenraad Lefever, creative director at Duval Guillaume, commented, “Although the conversation about the climate is omnipresent today, it is striking that the focus on deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has faded into the background. However, further deforestation of the Amazon forest will not only be a scar for Brazil, but will increase the impacts of a climate breakdown.”
Creative Agency: Duval Guillaume
Creative Director: Koenraad Lefever
Creatives: Karel De Mulder, Arnaud Bailly
Producers: Daan Feytongs & Saartje Gooris
Post-Producer: Bart Callaerts
PR Manager: Noemie Mwanzuzi
Sound Engineer: Jeroen Goossens
Strategy Director: Jorian Vanvossel
Account Team: Jessica Danese, Steven Boen, Axelle Gontier & Anaïs Lavie
Production Company: Soulvizion
Director: Bram Rekers
Producer: Erik Van Der Zwan
Photography: Olivier Truyman
Editor: Jesse Vulink
Sound: Merijn Kramp