A Perfect Planet? BBC's flammable OOH stunt questions how long it will last

Outdoor Media Buying
TV/Cinema Creative

BBC tear up and set fire to their own billboards to mimic what we’re doing to the planet.


In the BBC series A Perfect Planet, Sir David Attenborough tells us that oceans, sunlight, weather and volcanoes are powerful yet fragile forces that together allow life to flourish in astonishing diversity. They make Earth truly unique - a perfect planet, teeming with life.


In November, the team at BBC Creative joined with Talon Outdoor to begin promoting the series through a number of posters erected across the UK displaying shots of our miraculous world and its extraordinary inhabitants.


BBC Creative also created a lengthy trailer covering the series - oceans, volcano, the sun, humans and weather.


In the final episode of the series, Attenborough warns us that our ‘Perfect Planet’ is a fragile system, and today there’s a new force. One so powerful it threatens life on Earth. Human activity is now so dominant that it’s disrupting the forces of nature, and the vital habitats that life needs to survive on Earth.


As the show drew to a close, BBC Creative used its own billboards to demonstrate how humans are a destructive force on the planet in a bigger campaign focusing on the climate change crisis.


In one site they tore fragments of the billboard away to reveal the remnants of hard-hitting imagery behind. In another site the billboard has been designed to make it look like it has been set on fire to boldly illustrate that wildfire destroys habitats.


James Cross, creative director at BBC Creative, said the campaign had to shock. “It needs to highlight the fact that BBC nature series aren’t all about the good stuff, the wow and the wonder. There is actually a serious message that in more recent times, the corporation is leaning towards.”


He added that the PR value in doing an execution good enough to be talked about and shared online far outweighs any installation costs. It’s already had way more column inches than the average TV commercial.


All well and good, but it’ll take a great deal more than a few cleverly manipulated billboards to halt what is already a very real climate crisis.


As Sir David himself makes clear in the series, “To preserve our planet, we need to act now. And if we do that, there will still be time to restore the ecological balance that once made this Earth our perfect planet.”


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