After seven years working on VideoSift, I've seen many excellent public service announcements (PSAs) for environmental causes. You might not think that a simple commercial spot has much to do with Cleanleaps, and yes, they sometimes can be self-serving, bordering on greenwashing – but actually, a really important part of getting Cleanleaps off the ground is public support and awareness. The best environmental commercials make people think about the topic and maybe even spur them into action. Part of a project plan in building a large solar array, wind farm or hydroelectric dam is public engagement - commercials, on a broad canvas can build general awareness of a technology and remove fear. I think many of these commercials do just that.
Let's jump into the seven best commercials, counting down from number sevem:
7. TOTO Toilet Bike
TOTO is a Japanese toilet maker. You've probably seen their "Captain Kirk" style seats with all kinds of buttons and features. The motorcycle is completely powered by biogas from human waste. Although biogas is commonly used in many developing countries, the taboo around using human waste for energy in developed countries persists. This commercial is a fun way to break those barriers through a "poo-powered" motorcycle.
6. Mr. W
I don't want to give away the "hook" on this one so be sure you watch the video before you read this. OK, this commercial had a lot of success online several years ago because of its unusual main character and the surprise ending. It's made by Australian renewable energy company Epuron and it really brings attention to its topic. Through a heartfelt and very human performance, the commercial makes viewers think about the positive impact of this type of renewable energy. There, I didn't even spoil it.