Shreyas Kulkarni

When BBC set its ‘A Perfect Planet’ billboard on fire…

… to highlight global warming and deforestation, start a conversation, and promote its new show.

If you want to promote a show about the perils of global warming and climate change, the last thing you want to do is start a fire. It’s exactly what the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) did for its new show ‘A Perfect Planet’.

Voiced by the beloved 94-year-old English broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough, ‘A Perfect Planet’ is the “story of Earth’s power and fragility.” The five-part series premiered on BBC One on January 3, 2021 and its last episode hit the screens on January 31.

The show explores how natural phenomena, such as volcanoes, oceans and the sun, impact our planet. The last episode focused on humanity’s impact on earth.

To highlight the damage humans are causing to the planet on the back of the show's final episode, BBC Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative agency, decided to literally set the show’s billboard on fire. The poster that said all five episodes were now available online, was seen burning – a symbolic gesture of what our planet is suffering from right now.

Helen Rhodes, ECD, BBC Creative, said: “A Perfect Planet explains how our living planet operates, but also sends a stark warning of the damage we are doing and the consequences we face if we don’t act now. Our campaign is designed to support that sentiment, using the shock tactic of defacing our own poster to communicate the urgency of the crisis we face.”

As per The Drum, BBC Creative worked with Talon Outdoor. After the initial posters about the show were out, the team “devised a stunt that would take place at the end of the series, where they would hijack the billboards, and seemingly rip them up to signify how humans have the potential to tear this planet apart.”

And yes, “The team used eco-friendly, non-toxic inks for all the printing, while the display panels and banner material were fully recyclable, as was the timber used to build the frame. An eco-friendly water-based liquid was used for the smoke machine element.”

It is not the first time that BBC Creative has made waves for its outdoor work. Last year (2020), for its new show ‘Dracula’, the team put up a billboard that unleashed a terrifying spectre as the sun went down.

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