Prabhakar Mundkur: Dinosaur talks to Humanity on Extinction

01 Nov,2021


By Prabhakar Mundkur


Prabhakar MundkurPublic service advertising has always afforded creative people a chance to do some breakthrough creative work. But it is not always that that the opportunity is exploited. On the occasions it does, typically you do get the breakthrough idea.


The UNDP Dinosaur ad has certainly exploited that opportunity. It is not always that the UN creates breakthrough creative work, but the UNDP commercial does stand out. Firstly, the topic of fossil fuels and climate change is now on top of everyone’s mind thanks to the several well-known people who are pushing the case.


But tying up our fossil fuel consumption with extinction has never been made as strongly as it has done with this commercial.



What makes the commercial stand out?


For one, the element of surprise when the dinosaur walks into the iconic United Nations General Assembly Hall is truly captivating.


I liked the everyday simple voice of the man on the street for the dinosaur. For a moment, I was wondering what the dinosaur was going to sound like, but he sounded like any of us humans.


The text of the dinosaur’s speech is written extremely well. “You’re headed for a climate disaster, and yet every year, governments spend hundreds of billions of public funds on fossil fuel subsidies. Imagine if we had spent hundreds of billions per year subsidizing giant meteors,” the dinosaur says, speaking at the United Nations’s General Assembly in New York.


The video’s timing is perfect. It comes just before global leaders meet at the U.N. climate summit COP26, where countries gather to discuss climate goals and climate change.


It is quite well known that countries are not abiding by the Paris climate agreement. The dinosaur in the commercial says: “So here’s my wild idea: don’t choose extinction”.



“Think of all the other things you could do with that money. Around the world people are living in poverty. Don’t you think that helping them would make more sense than… paying for the demise of your entire species?” says the dinosaur.


The wonderful thing about the commercial is that it is fun and engaging while making a very strong point about a very serious issue – it has very high impact on the viewer.


I also thought the PR releases made it easy for anyone to tweet the commercial with a message. I did so myself.



I loved the way their website was structured into five different sections: The Problem, The Excuses, Take Action, Global Mindpool, Partners and UNDP. It included all the barriers to climate change. For example, it gave all the reasons that people give to not do anything about climate change.



A great commercial backed by media digital extensions that makes it a truly 360º campaign.


Well done, UNDP!


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