The dangerous effects of climate change are being felt all over the world and alarm bells are ringing loud and clear – that it is time to ‘Stop playing with Planet Earth’. This forms the tag line of a new public service ad done by Cell 18, the creative division of Network18 Group.
Rather than showing the usual scenes of nature’s fury or environmental degradation, the ad shows two table-tennis players involved in a fiercely competitive match. As the two players furiously hit the ball, it morphs into our planet Earth, driving home the point that we should ‘Stop playing with Planet Earth’.
The ad has been conceptualised and directed by Zubin Driver, Network Creative Director of Network18, and shot by Rishi Punjabi. Adrian De’Souza has composed the music.
Commenting on the ad, Driver said, “The brief was to make the public service ad a class apart and stand out. We have used two exceptional table tennis players, Aniket Koparkar and Sanil Shetty, who jointly share the second position in the under-21 Indian team in the ad. Cell 18 chose these two players over 10 others, all recommended by the Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association. It was for the first time that both Koparkar and Shetty were facing the camera, it was a task to get the best out of them.”
But why table-tennis? Driver replied, “We chose table tennis because, one, it is a much understated sport, and also because we realised that no other sport would reveal the passion as well as this one did.”
“This film connects with young people and we were able to get the basic message across through this campaign that we should stop playing around with the Earth,” he added.
The campaign broke across all channels of the Network18 Group on April 24.