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We wore the jackets, rode the vans, carried the bags, lifted the streamers. Aside from attending the Ad Congress sessions, we were engrossed in a little guerilla marketing of our own.

The 30s Can Save the World is a homegrown Y&R Philippines movement, a way to make An Inconvenient Truth a little more convenient to face. Y&R helped Al Gore take the message to Cannes. We wanted to start with people we knew, so the ad industry became our natural target market.

The 30 second tv spot has become a symbol of everything that’s default and old in advertising. Its death has been announced quite a number of times, although I have yet to see anything resembling a funeral, so it must be shambling about as a zombie, the pitiful undead of the marketing world.

Since the 30s was now a throwaway solution, we decided to recycle it.

It’s a time format we in advertising are quite familiar with. So repurposing it seemed easy – and convenient. It takes 30 seconds to write on the other side of the paper. 30s to unplug your cellphone charger before going to sleep. 30s to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. 30s to decide to take one car to the client’s office. An old thing becomes a new, easy thing.

We sent TarpBags (recycled from old advertising tarpaulins) to 4As agency heads; inside, the bags held an old u-matic tape converted into a timer, notepads made from printer scrap, “postercards” printed on the backside of ad posters. During Ad Congress, the vans offered free rides to delegates. While they were inside, they could watch our video (recycled from a Powerpoint presentation) and our ad (recycled from an old tv commercial that Chevron, our client, gave us permission to use).

Even if you’re not from the ad industry, you’re more than welcome to follow the movement on Twitter. Spare the earth just 30 seconds of your time. It’s not much – but if a lot of us do it, it can do all of us a world of good.

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