#ChileSinPlásticos: Greenpeace & McCann Santiago de Chile

After 20 years, iconic American Beauty’s bag keeps polluting the Earth.

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Greenpeace announces the launch of its new campaign to fight against the single-use plastic. Under the hashtag #ChileSinPlásticos and the worldwide initiative to end the use of single-use plastics (Break free from plastic), McCann Santiago de Chile presents a new communicational action. 

Chile and Latin America are taking important steps to legally ban the use of plastic, but we also need to call the people to change their own behavior. This time we take advantage of the 20th anniversary of the classic movie "American Beauty", to question the iconic scene of the bag floating in the air. In the Oscar-winning film for best movie on 1999, Ricky, says “it's the most beautiful thing I've ever filmed”. 20 years later, we wonder where that bag is and where it will be in the future, considering that plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade.

For Greenpeace, it’s very important the pressure we can generate to the politicians and companies, but we also want to connect with people in a friendlier way, from closer things such as sports or cinema. In this case, the protagonist is a bag from a movie, but our ambition is to raise awareness that all the plastic we throw will end inevitably in a landfill, in a river or in the ocean, being part of the 8 million tons of plastics that reach the ocean every year.


Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.

McCann Santiago is the agency which created this idea in its 100%.

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?

This idea is within the framework of the essential focuses for Greenpeace: discourage the use of plastic, particularly those of single use.  Specifically, in Chile, Greenpeace builds actions under #ChileSinPlástico requesting petitions of signatures to demand from governments to change their environmental policies.  From there the idea is born, that´s basically an invitation by an element embedded in the popular culture to change definitely the focus regarding the use of plastic.

Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask?

Greenpeace needs constantly of actions and ideas that gain fame by its form and content, then the petition will always be” what we do to bring this issue back to the table and generate a conversation about it”. The brief with Greenpeace is and will always be: Creating conversations that the society needs to have with high impact actions or ideas, in that way start raising essential issues and on this occasion particularly: the damaging use of plastic and the amount of waste that generates.

Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?

When the idea was thought, we realized that on 15 September it was the 20th anniversary of the release of American Beauty. 20 years of seeing a plastic bag flying in the air described as “the most beautiful scene that I´ve ever filmed”, by then the scenario was perfect to get the change of paradigm, because from an unconscious act in 20 years we haven´t taken note that bag would end up into the ocean and stay 400 years there going around. So we revisited the scene to say what it should always have said.

Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen? 

The truth is, we didn't have an alternative idea, we came with this because we had in our hands the unique opportunity to insert the message in a popular culture, from the very popular culture. Greenpeace understood this and expanded this idea regionally.

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.

The production process was fast, because every time we told the idea to somebody to join us the answer was always positive, because they saw in it the same we saw: A GREAT IDEA!!! Therefore, we counted on all the talent in the direction of the film by Matías Bustamante and his Funky Films team. To find the tone of voice was also a challenge that´s why we contacted Marcelo Liapiz, who lives in Miami and we believe the result is amazing. And finally the music by Claudia Incio from Sin Anestecia in Perú, who, in our view, performed a spectacular work.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

What´s the most enjoyable is the reception by the people, who talk about it, who share it in places far away from you. For instance, the idea got everybody talking in Sarajevo…what certifies the force of the message simple, direct, global and popular of the idea. We would like to think that, global ideas, insights that can be understood everywhere in the world.

Where do you see this campaign going in the future?

Rather than seeing this campaign in the future, we are deeply interested in the NOW of this idea. The appeal this idea is making is URGENT, the change of consciousness must happen right now. We can´t wait for a future, because if we don´t do anything now, we will not have it as we imagine, due to we thank sport people, politicians, film critics and TV characters have helped to amplify the message in their social networks.