I'm really excited to talk the Brand of the Week that I’ve chosen, for two reasons: the first one will become obvious as you read, and the second is because I have strong feelings about individual sustainability… as we as a society have been having more discussions about sustainability in recent years, more responsibility has been put on individual consumers when the impact really comes from the top – large corporations.
I have a vivid memory of going out to eat with friends, and one of them vilifying others for grabbing plastic straws or utensils from Starbucks when the establishment offered no alternative. Walk, bike, take public transport, turn off the light, buy less meat, use less plastic and paper products… these are all good ideas if you want to do them, but the idea of the sustainable individual is basically the environmentalist equivalent of virtue signaling and has little impact on the actual problem. As we as individual have been guilted into changing our habits, it has blinded the environmental movement from the true culprits – polluting corporations (and their political ties – but that’s another conversation).
This is not an argument for doing nothing, but rather for calling on (read: bullying) large corporations that have the ability to make systemic changes which can result in real, long-term impact on our planet. Our Brand of the Week’s latest campaign is about exactly this.
What is the campaign?
Samsung revealed their new initiative in partnership with brand ambassadors 💜BTS💜, Galaxy for the Planet, at their annual Galaxy Unpacked conference where they unveiled that their latest line of Galaxy devices will use repurposed ocean-bound plastics – specifically discarded fishing nets – to minimize humans’ environmental footprint and help foster more sustainable lifestyles for the Galaxy community.
The two-minute video ad – which will be aired during the 2022 Super Bowl LVI Commercial – features RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook of BTS holding up placards with urgent messages such as “The oceans are drowning in plastic” and “Marine animals are suffering, it’s time for a change.” The video goes on to show sets of placards that also read “Let’s rethink the life of a product” and “recycle ocean-bound plastics, use more eco-conscious packaging,” “Repurpose old devices for new uses.”
What I love about this ad is that Samsung is the one taking the lead – not guilt tripping individuals about their habits, but focusing on a larger problem and providing a solution that enables the brand to take responsibility, and their consumers to live more sustainable lives through the products they purchase from the Galaxy line. This move is also the beginning of the future – for all their Galaxy lineup moving forward, devices will eliminate single-use plastics and incorporate eco-conscious materials including recycled post-consumer material and recycled paper to deliver better environmental impact.
What values does this campaign enable?
The ad encourages us to understand our impact as a species on the planet and the other beings that share it with us. Even if we aren’t directly impacted by discarded fishing nets and single-use plastics in a way that we can see and feel, our oceans and marine wildlife are – and that’s shown through the projection being displayed behind the members.
Despite most people watching this ad are probably not the ones discarding fishing nets, I really love that these are the single-use plastics they decided to recycle into products. There’s a sense here that – even though we don’t all use plastic fishing nets – we all have the power to make an impact by intentionally purchasing products from brands like Samsung (and encouraging more corporations to make similar sustainable changes)… similarly, even though we make individual choices to live more sustainable lives, there’s more that we can all collectively impact, even if we can’t see it. The ad opened with a dire message, but the ending is hopeful – “With the power of we, us together, our small actions can turn a ripple into a wave.” We see what we can achieve through the contrasting visuals at the end of the video – the colorful, lively flowers that come together to show a beautifully thriving earth.
Thanks and see you next time!