Attack of the Giant Drone Logos
Well, in this case just one, but I'm sure more are on the way. The use of our little flying "friends" to promote goods and services became instantly clear when light-emitting drones were summoned to perform at last year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Check out the clip below, if you missed this the first time around.
I've been surprised how long it's taken for drone-based publicity to catch on. But this was given a big boost last weekend, when young turks smarter and wealthier than us saw a huge opportunity in crafting a tie-in between Earth Hour and the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness. Never heard of Earth Hour? It's interesting to note that it was conceived in 2007 as a worldwide event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and ad agency Leo Burnett. This year it was held on March 23, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. during participants' local time, during which all but essential external lighting was to be extinguished, as a method to encourage positive action for the environment. And sell stuff.
Or so it would seem, since Saturday night the WWF was only too happy to set aside its principles and have the darkened London sky suddenly lit up by a squadron of light-emitting drones that together displayed... the WWF logo? A call to conservation of the world's diminishing resources? No, the iconic Star Trek federation shield, as a tie-in to the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness flick. Okay, the connection was clever, there's no denying it. But what a wasted opportunity to enhance the environmental message of the event.
Kellie Rollings from WWF later went on record saying that, "WWF is delighted that Paramount is supporting this year's Earth Hour event. Millions of people around the world take part in Earth Hour year on year and we're always looking for innovative ways to get our message out there." Right, Captain Kirk is such a well-known environmental advocate, I can see how that helped. Beyond the cash generated for the WWF, of course. The clip below provides a good idea of how things went that night.
The organizers all seemed pretty pleased with themselves, didn't they? Must feel good to hijack a global environmental event to flog a Hollywood movie. Personally, I find the exercise rather distasteful but I'm sure we'll be seeing much, much more of our little flying "friends" as they are deployed skyward, in the historical tradition of blimps and planes towing advertising messages. It's the 1950s all over again. Who needs digital when the skies are there for the taking, right?
Founding Editor, Graphics.com