Nature Delivers a Potent Warning About Climate Change in MullenLowe SSP3’s New Ads

The signs are everywhere

Warning signs about climate change abound in MullenLowe’s simple but potent campaign for Conservation International in Colombia.

Using footage from recent catastrophic storms, the spot below focuses on a familiar red-and-white symbol. Wind-blasted and rain-soaked, this particular traffic sign’s message, in such stormy context, takes on a deeper, global meaning:

“People are becoming desensitized to images of natural disasters, especially as the frequency of these events, due to climate change, increases,” Carlos Andrés Rodríguez, creative chief at MullenLowe SSP3, which developed the campaign, tells AdFreak.

“Rather than inundate them with more of the same,” he says, “we found a new perspective through ever-present witnesses of weather tragedies: traffic signs, which usually go unnoticed. We thought that those signs, which are constantly bombarded by brutal weather and storms, could be the voice of nature speaking to us.”

The spot, created to coincide with World Climate Day earlier this month, closes on the line, “Nature is trying to tell us something,” and scores with its memorably direct, non-preachy approach.

“We know we have advanced a lot in terms of the awareness of climate change, but we need to keep stressing the importance of doing something about it, not just knowing that it exists,” says Fabio Arjona, general manager of Conservation International Colombia. “This campaign aims to move all citizens to support conservation efforts by doing simple things such as recycling, walking more, or riding a bike instead of using the car.”

Such calls to action appear in similarly themed print ads:

Of course, biking to work or recycling can’t in and of themselves prevent storms. They are, however, practical steps most folks can take to help reverse some troubling trends for our planet.

Naturally, the work won’t faze climate change deniers. For the rest of us, its point is crystal clear: Make some changes, or you might wind up inundated and twisting in the wind, with no sign of hope in sight.

Agency: MullenLowe SSP3
Brand: Conservation International
Product: Conservation International
CEO: Francisco Samper
CCO: Carlos Andrés Rodríguez
COO: Juan Pablo García
Creative Directors: Juan David Arboleda / Guillermo Siachoque
Copywriters: Jorge Eliécer Pinto / Abel Antonio Gómez
Art Directors: Camilo Londoño / Byron Poveda
Retouching: La Salvación Studio
Editing: Jonathan Bolívar
Client: Fabio Arjona
Planning Director: Carolina Mejía

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.