Ad of the Day: Skype Tells the Story of Earth's First Climate-Change Refugees

Unfolding tragedy at Kiribati

A remote island nation being literally washed away

Skype wants you to know it isn't just good for keeping in touch with geographically distant friends and family—it's a practical tool for important professionals doing good work.

A new ad from the Microsoft-owned chat service and agency Pereira & O'Dell goes behind the scenes with two journalists—Anna Therese Day and Gianlucca Panella—who have covered war zones like Gaza, South Sudan and Syria. Now, Day and Panella are in the small Pacific island nation of Kiribati, drawing attention to the low-lying country's fate as one of the early casualties of rising sea levels caused by global climate change.

CNN, Mashable and Al Jazeera have already picked up the pair's editorial coverage, which sees residents displaced from their homes, groundwater polluted by ocean water, and Kiribati's government struggling to find a future home for its population. Skype is a relatively small part of the actual narrative—it's a technological aside on the modern process of producing news from remote locations.

The insertion of the brand where it doesn't entirely belong can't help but feel a little forced (and doesn't really distinguish the product from competitors). At the same time, it adds volume to a story that's not top of mind for most people—Kiribati's inhabitants number only about 100,000. And the fact that it's facing crisis at all is pretty clear evidence that industrialized nations, largely responsible for carbon emissions, don't really care that much.

Client: Skype, Inc.
GM, CAS Audience Marketing: Angie Hill
Director, Audience Marketing: Jackie Lee-Joe
Creative Director: Matt Sedik
Senior Campaign Manager: Vanessa Boutwell
Campaign Manager: Benjamin Lazarus

Agency: Pereira & O'Dell
Chief Creative Officer: PJ Pereira
Executive Creative Director: Jamie Robinson
Creative Director: Jonathan Woytek
Associate Creative Director: Michael Gurman
Senior Art Director: Ben Sweitzer
Senior Copywriter: Gabriel Miller
Senior Copywriter: Simon Friedlander
Art Director: Myray Reames
Copywriter: Demian Kendall
VP, Director of Production: Jeff Ferro
Executive Producer: Bill Spangler
Senior Broadcast Producer: Joanna Topetzes
Senior Integrated Producer: Jason Mar
Co-Director of Client Services: Ivy Truong
Senior Account Executive: William de Ryk
Strategy Director: Molly Cabe
Strategy Director - Media and Distribution: Jasmine Summerset
Media Strategist: Noel Aragon
Media Strategist: Katie McKinley

Production Company:  Station Film
Director: Peking
Executive Producer: Caroline Gibney
Producer: Sarah McMurray

Editorial and Post: Umlaut Films
Editor: Jonathan Flookes
Executive Producer: Gina Locurcio
Producer: Kelly Gibbs
Assistant Editor: Peter Geiger

Sound Mix: One Union Recording Studios
Sound Mixer: Eben Carr


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