Live Earth Cracks the Code

NEW YORK A new spot from Young & Rubicam for the Live Earth concert uses the global language of music to spell out the message “S.O.S.”

Directed by Frank Budgen, who won a Cannes Grand Prix for Wieden + Kennedy’s Nike “Tag” commercial, the Live Earth spot depicts people conveying the Morse Code message “dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot,” which is the internationally recognized abbreviation for “Save Our Ship.”

This spot contains a twist, however, with the client amending the message to mean “Save Our Selves.”

The participants—who range from a tap dancing woman and a child playing a whistle to a group of children singing in unison—all convey the same message using different interpretations. The soundtrack swells along with the weather, which culminates in fierce winds, pouring rain and lightning.

The concert takes place on July 7, part of a program that includes 60 short films on environmental issues.

“We’re in all this together and we should all receive the message that the planet is in distress and we should send a message to our government,” said Mark Figliulo, CCO at Y&R in Chicago. The spot debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last month and will break on TV in coming weeks as part of a larger campaign.

The exact plan, which will be a mix of free and paid media, is still being developed. Another part of the campaign is the recent reunion of Spinal Tap, the beginning of which can be seen on YouTube.