Sustainable brand consultancy Republic of Everyone's Gruen ad hits a Green nerve

Screen shot 2010-08-12 at 2.58.46 PM.pngUPDATED: As reported yesterday by CB, A fake political commercial for the Green Party on the ABC's Gruen Nation on Wednesday night has hit a green nerve, with thousands of supportive messages posted requesting that the ad be adopted by the party and aired nationally.

Sydney-based sustainable brand consultancy Republic of Everyone, who developed the "If You Think - vote Greens" spot, was approached by the Green Party to discuss using the concept following the show. However, the ABC owns the copyright and have refused to allow that to happen.
But as it stands the fact that The Greens can't buy it is working in their favour with the press picking up the story and the spot going viral with over 24,000 hits in less than 24 hours.

The spot was produced in-house at Sydney's newest production company, The Colony.
Colony director Eran Thomson, who co-wrote the ad with Republic of Everyone creative director, Ben Peacock, put other projects on hold to oversee the development process and deliver the final spot that went to air.

Says Peacock: "After winning the panel vote on the show we've been inundated. Simply speaking the creative insight behind the ad was to focus on the positive and showcase the range of Greens policies on all the big social issues.

"As an agency that specializes in sustainability and ethical marketing for our commercial clients this is an area we believe we understand better than most - and from the feedback we've had so far it seems a lot of Australian voters agree."

Says Thomson: "I had a lot of fun writing and directing the spot. It was a great opportunity to draw on my experience as an agency creative to deliver a simple, effective idea in such a short time. I'm thrilled to see it getting so much positive attention for The Greens."

The spot was called "the best Greens ad ever" by Gruen Transfer panellist - and Leo Burnett CEO - Todd Sampson - and commenters on YouTube seem to agree, with some calling it the best political ad ever.
 
Agency: Republic of Everyone, Sydney
Copywriters: Eran Thomson, Ben Peacock
Director: Eran Thomson
Executive Producer: Susan Walker
Editor/Post: Jordan Lister
Music: Stock
Production Company: The Colony

33 Comments

Anonymous said:

I was pretty impressed.

Anonymous said:


Actually, I thought the other ad was the stronger of the two, though both were good.

The votes just reflected the pre-set opinions of the panel.

The negative ad showed a side of Greens parties worldwide that is all too often ignored by the mainstream media - their negative affect on many key issues, not least, ironically, the environment.

One of the worst was their strong push for bio-fuels. Many countries have now made it mandatory to have a specific percentage of bio fuel imixed with standard oil based fuels. This has been a major cause of food shortages and food price rises around the world, with more and more agricultural land being used for bio fuels rather than food.

This has also had a massive negative affect on the environment, with thousands of acres of forest cleared to grow yet more bio fuels.

Another classic case of Greens not understanding how the world works - even the area that they're supposed to be experts in.

A seasoned election campaign veteran said:

That may well be true, 4:02, but it was a wee bit difficult to get one's head around the argument.

On the other hand, the winning "if you think..." was a great insight and such a natural fit with the way Greens voters seem to see themselves as more thoughtful (even if the contrary argument attempted to counter that).

Like all great advertising, it's so obvious it looks easy. A great line. An air-ready campaign.

Ben Peacock said:

Hi,

Just a quick bug up to director Eran Thomson and producer Susan Walker from the Colony for putting in the big hours and creative thinking to make this happen.

Hugs and mungbeans from the Republic.

Ben Peacock said:

big up! I meant big up!

Anonymous said:

This is very interesting.

The ABC has refused the Greens the rights to use the ad, stating that they (the ABC) own the rights.

So the agency creates this idea (and it's a bloody good one too) makes this spot for free, donates all its time, calls in favours, and the intellectual property belongs to the ABC.

Fuck, will we ever learn? Does any other industry willingly give away their content so freely? No wonder our margins are so shit in this business.

Anonymous said:

Perfect ad for the Greens

Beautiful in terms of style - direction, music and emotive quality
Right amount of moral and intellectual supreriority that is in their DNA
Stays right away from the pragmatic realities that make them so dangerous as the new balance of power from September

Anonymous said:

It's great to see some work produced on 'The Pitch' segment doing real work.

Anonymous said:

The ABC apparently 'own' the ad: check this out!

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/abc-wont-come-to-the-party-over-gruen-greens-ad-20100812-120sn.html

Should we be doing content for free for them if they won't let us use it ourselves?

This is ludicrous!

Green voter said:

Anonymous 4.02 = Lib or Lab stooge

Mate, you're as pathetic as all the trolls on News.com and other mainstream media blogs. The Greens do not support Biofuels carte blanche, certainly not the biofuels that hectares of rainforest are decimated to grow biofuel crops. The Greens support adoption of renewable energy, but they also spell out their policy details on their website and their representatives are open to discussion on all policy, unlike the COALition and Labor.

Anonymous said:

Interestingly, the 'other' ad was created by a company whose clients are two of the biggest producers of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers. Someone's shit certainly stinks.

Anonymous said:

Doesn't matter if they can "use" it. The Greens onto a massive viral success with this one.
Great ad + it's "been banned" = 24,000 views and counting

Anonymous said:

Well done Eran

Anonymous said:

well done ben

Anonymous said:

Wish I'd done it.

Anonymous said:

when we applied to be part of the pitch, i remember there being some payment from the ABC to cover production costs - this was in series 2, so not sure if that's still the case, but from memory, the pitch agencies don't do it for free (although it's not at commercial rates) - so it makes sense the ABC own the rights.

Anonymous said:

Anyone who has worked on a Gruen spot knows the ABC via Zapruder does pay a couple of grand towards the production. Regardless of that, it's agency people who want their 15 minutes of fame & clearly the ABC should retain the copyright - quite apart from the obvious political problems of the government funded broadcaster effectively providing a party with ads. After seeing Bob Brown on Q&A last night, I don't think they deserve any help anyway.

Anonymous said:

It’s so much easier to make a good ad for a party that lives in economic fairyland.

As for the ABC’s dilemma: I guess they can’t risk displeasing their puppet masters – even when it’s that same major party benefitting from all those Green preferences.

Anonymous said:

That's a good point, 2:31. Before we take the high moral ground, I think you're right that if we're honest, we're in this for our 15 minutes. As such, we'd be wise to acknowledge that as an industry we enter Gruen's 'Pitch' segment not out of any genuine altruistic desire to save the world, but to strut our stuff, either to stroke our own egos or to attract future business. The bottom line is we're helping Zapruder provide entertainment, and any contributor who doesn't go into it with their eyes open is either naive or stupid.

Anonymous said:

I believe the term "nothing kills a bad product like good advertising" applies here.

Anonymous said:


Republic of Everyone. Rock band name

Anonymous said:

How is this a good ad anyway?

I could minimally rewrite it to apply to Labour or the Libs.

Yes, it has some self-congratulory appeal to their base, but as a non-green observer it simply reinforced the old saw that they are bunch of smug dreamers.

For the Greens to ever get beyond protest vote size, they need to move beyond pie in the sky platitudes and towards convincing people they have viable ideas that will not wreck the economy if implemented.

Either that or they join the Labour Party in coalition and force through socially progressive ideas like drug legalization and gay marriage and leave economic theory to the big boys.

Anonymous said:

I'm from a production house who makes this free content.... and I'd like to say go fxck yourselves, this is bullshit. people want to pay and the ABC owns it????? A couple of 1000 bucks for this content is below minimum wages - it's actually illegal.

Anonymous said:

Zapruder pay $1000 to put towards production. Creative is provided for free. Then Zapruder have the hide to turn around and say 'Sorry guys, this isn't your ad you can not run it.'

What the fuck? What planet do you guys live on? This is ridiculous.

I've yet to work on a pro-bono charity TV spot that was less than $10k for cast, crew & post, for a paying client less than $100k – and that's frickin tiny.

At least Zapruder should allow the wishes of the agency – for the greens to have it as their campaign, because they got it for a song.

Anonymous said:

I think given the time and lack of budget this is a brilliant ad. If Gruen paid a few thousand for expenses then maybe The Greens should repay this amount for the ad and the right to use it. I do find it strange that if the ABC get the Pitch segment ads virtually for free that they wouldn't let great work actually run. Sounds like it's politics at the ABC that is stopping them let The Greens run this ad. Ironic???

Anonymous said:

I agree. I think the ABC should pay a minimum of $20k to cover production per piece.

Basically they're using up all the favours that would otherwise go into beautiful, award winning scam ads. And it's for shitty, really shitty tosswank briefs that are never allowed to run properly anyway.

Then again, if you're an agency that's stupid enough to burn favours on the Gruen instead of going with stock footage, good luck getting anywhere in the future.

Anonymous said:

Sorry I missed the show and have just viewed the TVC. Was this stock footage or was it shot by the production company?

Anonymous said:

Andrew Denton -- are you reading these comments?

Anonymous said:

Absolutely brilliant work.

Anonymous said:

yes 7.32, Andrew Denton has nothing better to do than read vitriolic comments from junior creatives and art school kids on work experience

Anonymous said:

Anonymous said:

Well done Sue Walker and Eran !

Anonymous said:

Surely everyone involved in production of a pitch ad willingly agrees to the terms before they create an ad for the show.

The ad belongs to whomever the ABC says it belongs to. Case closed.

Anonymous said:

I wonder if the MEAA knows the ABC is doing below wages or free labour deals for it's content??????????? have not the ABC & the MEAA signed a labour agreement?

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