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Brands come together for Earth Hour 2014

Earth Hour is on 29 March 2014 between 8:30 – 9:30PM. The cause finds supporters in Discovery Channel, Durex, Times Music, and Verizon

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | March 28, 2014

durex-earth-hour Click on the image to watch the Durex Earth Hour Video.

WWF's global initiative - Earth Hour 2014 - is making waves already. The global campaign to raise awareness about climate change is in its sixth year in the country and will be celebrated tomorrow, March 29. The message of Earth Hour 2014 is to make the switch to renewable energy. This includes the roles and responsibilities for individuals, organisations and the government.

While the previous supporters have included the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Abhishek Bachchan, Amir Khan, Vidya Balan and Ajay Devgn, this year Arjun Kapoor will be endorsing it nationally. Along with Kapoor, a bunch of regional stars including Mir (Kolkata), Anirudh (Chennai), Tilak (Bengaluru) and Ram Charan (Hyderabad) will be making the concept popular in different regions.

Emphasising his support for Earth Hour, Arjun Kapoor, addressing the media in Mumbai, said, “I am honoured to be part of such a pertinent cause as Earth Hour – a campaign against climate change that has the support of millions of people globally. My association with Earth Hour will bring me in close contact with one of the country's foremost conservation organizations that has been diligently fighting against the adverse impact of climate change.”

Discovery Channel’s initiatives

Discovery Channel has partnered with WWF for presenting Earth Hour this year. As partner, the channel will be leveraging Earth Hour through Discovery Network’s channels in India spanning on-air, digital and social media platforms and on-ground events.

Rahul Johri, Senior VP and General Manager, South Asia & Head of Revenue, South-east Asia and Pan Regional Advertising Sales, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “Discovery Channel’s partnership for Earth Hour is our constant endeavour to give back to the planet and empowering people to make a difference to the world. Through this campaign, we aim to raise awareness about the importance of energy conservation amongst viewers and help build a sustainable environment.”

Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India, said, “Earth Hour is a global campaign by WWF that has led massive collective action around the world every year since its inception. This year, we are happy to associate with Discovery Channel to carry the message of Earth Hour and the aspects of climate change to an even larger audience. The association with this leading television network will, we hope, help strengthen the Earth Hour initiative to draw attention to conservation issues that we face as a planet. We thank Discovery Networks and look forward to working together presently and in the future.”

Discovery Channel, through its year-round programming, sensitises viewers about the delicate balance that needs to be struck between mankind and the environment.  Emphasising the importance of conservation, the channel highlights issues such as impact of climate changes, dwindling animal species and global warming and save environment. Though the one-hour lights-off event is the main driver of a now-larger movement, Earth Hour’s full ambition is for people to take action beyond the hour.

Durex call to ‘Turn off to turn on’

But perhaps the most interesting brand which is using Earth Hour to its benefit while supporting the cause is Durex. The world's leading sexual well-being brand has brought out a short film on how technology, instead of bringing people close, has led to increasing alienation. The insight they worked on was based on data that showed that 12 per cent people have answered their phones during sex, and Twitter users are likely to have a shorter relationship compared to non-users. More such data have led them to conclude that technology has actually drawn people away from each other.

The film which they have released on YouTube shows various couples spending time together. But, one or both of them are engrossed in some gadget – television, iPad, mobile phone, etc. They neglect the beautiful moments they can have together because they are busy with technologically. The video shows a couple watching TV and working on the laptop and sharing a bowl of popcorn. As their hands brush, they are reminded of their partners. They switch off the TV and the laptop and are then engrossed with each other. In different parts of the world, couples start to come together, switching off their devices and lights as well. The video shows the major monuments of the world going dark one by one, before finally ending in the caption: “Turn Off to Turn On”.


Nitish Kapoor, General Manager, Reckitt Benckiser India, said, “Technology is helping us stay connected with friends and events across the world, but it is also eating into our personal time. This year, on Earth Hour, when the lights go off for an hour, Durex is encouraging couples to turn off their gadgets and rekindle the spark in their relationships by turning off to turn on.

Ukonwa Ojo, who leads Global Brand Equity Marketing for Durex, explained, “Earth Hour provides the perfect opportunity for couples to switch off for an hour and focus exclusively on reconnecting with each other. What else is as much fun to do in the dark that is as energy-efficient as it is energetic?!”

Along with Discovery and Durex, a slew of brands are doing their bit around Earth Hour. Verizon, the leading broadband and other wireless and wireline communications service, has pledged to join the movement.

Verizon plans to go dark

Verizon employees across the globe will switch off their lights at 8.30 PM for one hour in around 550 Verizon buildings and 3,000 Verizon employee homes across roughly 40 countries, helping to raise energy-efficiency awareness and promote sustainable living.

“Earth Hour is an annual display of how our imagination can inspire and engage hundreds of millions to focus on the one thing that unites us – our planet,” said Keya Chatterjee, Director of renewable energy and footprint outreach for World Wildlife Fund. “Joining together for Earth Hour with the Verizon family, and other businesses, communities and cities around the world, we are setting the stage for a brighter tomorrow.”

James Gowen, Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon, said, “Earth Hour provides each of us with a chance to not only act as greener citizens, but to also share and influence others to live greener lives. With Verizon Green Team members located across the globe, we are motivated and mobilising for the fifth straight year to work green and live green in honour of Earth Hour.”

Furthermore, when Verizon employees pledge to participate from home, they are given a choice of voting via the World Wildlife Fund to symbolically adopt one of several endangered animals. For every 100 votes cast, Verizon will symbolically adopt one of those animals through a donation to WWF.

Times Music sings for the planet

The entertainment industry has not been left behind. Times Music is bringing out a specially created music compilation in support of Earth Hour with tracks by Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Vikku Vinayakram and Pt. Bhavani Shankar. Keeping true to the cause, the five tracks in the album, 'The Sounds of Harmony', will represent the five elements of nature.

The album will be available in India across digital download and streaming portals like iTunes, Gaana, Nokia MixRadio and more. Part of the proceeds from the Earth Hour compilation will go to WWF-India for their Earth Hour initiatives.

Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music, said, “We’re proud to be associated with a global movement like Earth Hour. We’ve seen through the annals of history that music can prove to be a powerful tool to promote powerful causes.”

So, do not forget to switch off your lights tomorrow evening, from 8:30 – 9:30PM. An hopur’s darkness will lead to a brighter tomorrow.


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