The short documentary opens with the heartbreaking viral video, filmed by the International Animal Rescue, of an orangutan desperately, and unsuccessfully, trying to fight off an excavator for the palm oil industry as it tears down his home.
The film is only part of a recent campaign from FCB&FiRe, the FCB network’s Latin alliance in Madrid, aimed at raising awareness of the deforestation by the palm oil industry for Trapa, a Spanish confectionery brand that is one of the first companies worldwide pledging to remove the widely consumed vegetable oil from all its products by 2019.
To document the devastation, the agency traveled to the island of Borneo, where the burning of forests to make way for palm oil plantations is rampant—and it’s not just affecting the wildlife living there but our environment, as the deforestation is leading to an alarming rise in carbon emissions.
As detailed in the below documentary, FCB&FiRe held a photoshoot with model A. Ivanyuk and photographer Anne Roig in the depths of one forest area in Borneo not yet bulldozed by the palm oil industry. In a few months, the agency team and Trapa plan to return to see if they can capture the same photo, or if there will be nothing left for them to capture.
What Trapa and the agency are calling the “unrepeatable photo,” as seen in the film, will be distributed alongside the documentary on Instagram stories and in several fashion magazines such as Elle, Esquire, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan.
“It is much more than a page of advertising in the press,” Ángel Amador, Trapa’s communication director, said in a statement. “It is a photograph that documents and certifies that this place is alive today and that tomorrow, if we don’t look carefully at the labels on the things we buy, it may not be.”
As the documentary explains, FCB&FiRe and Trapa had to go to considerable lengths to even capture the “unrepeatable photo.” As the palm oil industry controlling the area would not have allowed the team to document the land had it known their true intentions, the creatives told them it was just a run-of-the-mill photoshoot for a fashion magazine.
Many of the individuals who worked on the production of this documentary have not been made public due to threats they’ve received, according to FCB&FiRe.
As was made evident by the U.K. advertising regulators’ decision to ban a recent animated ad raising awareness to the deforestation by the palm oil industry for supermarket brand Iceland Foods, the issue is both pervasive and sensitive.
While government bodies are shying away from addressing the devastation, journalists, celebrities and brands have not—the banned animated ad garnered 35 million views in one weekend thanks primarily to Facebook shares and coverage by British news outlets.
“Behavior sends a much stronger message than any conventional advertising can,” FCB&FiRe CCO Jesús Revuelta said in a statement. “In this case, in addition to the transcendence of the topic, the content emits a critical judgment which strengthens our ability to be relevant to a certain audience. It is very gratifying for us to advise the new Trapa in two closely intermingled areas: business decisions that speak for themselves, and creativity applied to content.”
FCB&FiRe Creative Team
FCB&FiRe Account Team
FCB&FiRe Social Media
Ana García Sierra
International Animal Rescue Indonesia
Blua Production Team
Indonesia Production Service
Not made public because of threats received.