WWF on Light Bulb Pollutants

WWF Canada is using a television commercial to challenge the suggestion that simply installing energy efficient light bulbs will solve energy-related environmental issues. How many resources and pollutants does it take to make a light bulb? “Light Bulb” follows the production and shipping process of an energy efficient light bulb. The spot was shot over three days using miniatures and set against real locations.

Trucks carrying ore in WWF Light Bulb commercial

The spot follows the production and transport processes used in the production and distribution of light bulbs. Actual footage and animated video uses the color red to hint at the environmental impact of a mine in Australia, a factory in China, a cargo ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean, a transport truck. The spot finishes at a retail outlet in North America where a man purchases the light bulb thinking that he is making an environmentally conscious decision.

The campaign is online at WWF Canada and includes a magazine print advertisement.

WWF Light Bulb magazine advertisement


The Light Bulb campaign was developed at Draft FCB, Toronto, by creative director Robin Heisey, creative director/art director Joe Piccolo, creative director/art copywriter Chris Taciuk, art director Oliver Brooks, copywriter Mike Richardson, agency producer Kelly Cavanaugh, group account director Jeremy Marten, account director Nadine McLean, account manager Jessica Jaskula, with interactive work developed by Catherine Baird and Adam Notzl-Keyser.

Joe Piccolo, creative director, explains some of the background for the campaign. “A mere five years ago the terms Global Warming and Climate Change were barely understood. In that time, we have gone from lack of comprehension, to understanding and finally to action. While the actions that the average person are taking are vital and important to reducing the harmful emissions leading to this destructive process they really only are a drop in the bucket to what really needs to be done.”

Father holding product in WWF Light Bulb commercial

Filming was shot by directors Woods + Low (Chris Woods and Jeff Low) via OPC, Toronto, with executive producer Harland Weiss, producer Donovan Boden, director of photography Chris Woods.

The original script called for the use of stock footage to give the visuals the international scope they required. Woods + Low felt that people have become desensitized to most of the same gloomy stock footage showing the negative impacts on the environment. Instead they came up with the idea of shrinking the world down to a manageable size and to utilize miniatures set against real locations. “Art installations filmed on location” is perhaps the best way to put it and this approach also gave us the opportunity to shoot all original footage. To make the negative impacts of the environment stand out, and to make the spot more visually interesting, we first thought to make the carbon emissions pink and the rest of the footage black and white…we ended up with just the product being pink which won out as a more narrative decision.

Editor was Johnny Devries at School Editing, Toronto.