A Talented Llama Is Just One Magical Piece of These Surprisingly Fun Industrial Ads

Chaos theory comes to energy management

Properly automating the electrical system at your workplace sounds boring. But in fact, it could save the entire world from a catastrophic asteroid collision.

That is the premise of one new ad from Schneider Electric, which sells energy management and automation products and services in Europe. In the two-minute spot, an electrical engineer underestimates his role in setting a hospital's backup generator so it switches on when the city's power blacks out. The patient on the table also has an important (read: absurd) role to play in the future of the planet.

A second spot features a similarly humble facilities manager, whose timely correction of an office building's cooling system in England has an unlikely impact on a father and his daughter in what appears to be rural Peru—and brings a special kind of pan-flute music to audiences elsewhere (its title might remind you of a certain 1998 hip hop hit by Pras, Mya, and Ol' Dirty Bastard, though).

BETC Digital created the campaign, "The Butterfly Effect," which plays on the chaos-theory concept (at least as it is popularly misinterpreted). 

The approach inevitably evokes DirecTV's long-running if-then campaign about the adverse outcomes of having cable. It also rests on the same basic premise as Con Edison's weakly articulated tagline "Everything Matters"—though carried to fantastical extremes that actually make it pretty entertaining.

The unlikely heroes in each ad find their sense of self-worth in the end, coming to terms with the crucial role they play in assuring the well-being of others (and in one case, the planet) … and being instrumental in bringing us the latest YouTube hit. In reality, however, it's safe to say their existential cries will fall on the deaf, uncaring ears of an infinitely expanding universe.

That llama, though.