Every plastic bottle in your bathroom dreams of a better life. At least, they do in Keep America Beautiful's new recycling ads from Pereira & O'Dell. The next phrase of the "I Want to Be Recycled" campaign launches today, and shows bathroom bottles looking forward to future experiences that are way more fulfilling that getting your grubby body clean.
Keep America Beautiful
Pereira & O'Dell tells stories from the point of view of trash in its new "I Want to Be Recycled" pro-bono campaign for the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful. (No Honey Boo Boo jokes, please.) In one spot, we follow a plastic bottle's long journey from an alleyway garbage can over highways, through forests and down urban thoroughfares until it winds up as part of a bench made from recycled materials that overlooks the sea. Another ad presents a discarded aluminum can that dreams of one day being part of a shiny sports stadium. The bottle and can narrate, and the ads close with the tagline, "Give your garbage another life," ultimately pointing viewers toward IWantToBeRecycled.org. These well-made PSAs are certainly affecting and will probably resonate with many viewers. Still, I wonder if powerful copy like, "They said I couldn't dream. Called me a piece of trash and swore that's all I'd ever be," isn't at least somewhat muted when only bottles and cans are shown on screen. This approach is quirky and memorable and does, in fact, work just fine in the context of the campaign. That said, I don't find it especially compelling, nor does it do much to convince me to recycle. (Can't say I care if your dreams come true, Mr. Can. Frankly, benches and ballparks will be built regardless of whether I recycle. That's not much of an inducement for me to change my behavior.)