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

Unfolding tragedy at Kiribati

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.

CREDITS

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