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Prick? Wanker? Environmentalist?
July 23, 2006 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Green? Probably. Peaceful? Well...
posted by generichuman (68 comments total)

 
Funny? Debatable. Non-Youtube, but still direct link.

(Thought I'd save them some traffic woes.)
posted by generichuman at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2006


I loved it, and only wished reality was more in line with this spot.
posted by jonson at 2:08 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


it's so offensive! and exactly how I feel!
posted by carsonb at 2:11 PM on July 23, 2006


I would agree, actually! I've been hoping something like this would catch on.

Perhaps that makes me prick, too.
posted by generichuman at 2:13 PM on July 23, 2006


They should have chosen a fatter actor. One with foreskin.
posted by ColdChef at 2:16 PM on July 23, 2006


What's a little spit in your coffee if you have a sweet, sweet ride?
posted by brain_drain at 2:19 PM on July 23, 2006


Good ad.

That 'Peaceful?' rather implied we were going to get footage of Greenpeace activists kicking a woman to death for failing to properly insulate her loft, though.
posted by jack_mo at 2:19 PM on July 23, 2006


He looked a hell of a lot like Stephen Harper. Who says typecasting never works?
posted by maudlin at 2:20 PM on July 23, 2006


Maybe he has a large family or needs the extra space to haul the community group he volunteers with down to the homeless shelter for charity work. Maybe he uses the vehicle for any number of legitimate reasons, where there may be no better alternative mode of transportation.

Regardless of all that, I'd still spit in his coffee. But, then again, I do that to all my coworkers.
posted by fatbobsmith at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2006


Peaceful?

Well, yes. Is changing peoples' attitudes by taking the piss not peaceful? This is what Greenpeace looks like when it's not peaceful.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 2:23 PM on July 23, 2006


Or this.
posted by grobstein at 2:28 PM on July 23, 2006


Yes, using a vehicle that is less efficient than necessary makes no sense..

But the leap to the statement that ALL use of larger vehicles is wrong is...well....wrong....

Now...i'm going to hook my boat up to the suv and head to the lake... let's see those greenpeace wussies tow something behind their bikes!
posted by HuronBob at 2:28 PM on July 23, 2006


What jack_mo said. What's not peaceful about that? City folk who drive SUVs are wankers.
posted by Decani at 2:29 PM on July 23, 2006


He looked a hell of a lot like Stephen Harper. Who says typecasting never works?
posted by maudlin at 4:20 PM CST on July 23


Although the cafeteria scene was an overhead shot with no closeup, I'm sure he was going to eat babies for lunch.
posted by ninjew at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2006


The ad is preaching to the converted. No one that actually drives a large car is going to watch that and think: oh wow, I should drive a more fuel efficient, smaller auto, or ride my bike and leave less of a mark on this beautiful earth. They're going to think what a bunch of judgmental twits that guy works with and dig their heels in as long as they can afford the gas. And how does a brawl (hoverboards don't work on water's link) do anything useful?
posted by dog food sugar at 2:35 PM on July 23, 2006


I was also thrown off by "peaceful?" and expecting Greenpeace attacking whalers with spears or something.
This ad was awesome and funny!
posted by easternblot at 2:35 PM on July 23, 2006


Hey, let's *all* masturbate on TV.
posted by zerolives at 2:38 PM on July 23, 2006


The typical jerk sees this and comes out thinking:
Wow, so all those people can't afford an SUV? Such is the fate of those of us hard working affluent patriots!
posted by mulligan at 2:42 PM on July 23, 2006


No way would the whole office be against him. There'd be factions, he'd have buddies who liked to ride around in his "portable livingroom". And no doubt some of the women would be attracted to a guy who could afford such an unnecessary behemoth.
posted by telstar at 2:50 PM on July 23, 2006


Whales contain a lot of oil and are carbon neutral. What's needed is whale farming to create biodeisel. As a more serious answer. The world is going to consume as much gasolene as can be produced. In fact by using less gasolene individually all your doing is making it possible for more people to drive cars (reducing the demand for gasolene and therefore reducing the total cost of owning a vehicle thus driving consumption back up). What is the breakdown of the energy required to produce and market a car vs. the cost of driving it? In a rough guess its probably 4 or 5 years of driving before the carbon put up by the gasolene exceeds the amount created in manufacture. All that aluminum, steel, and rubber didn't just get it self out of the ground and get transformed into machined parts. You arn't saving the world driving your Prius; and I'm not killing the world in my SUV. In fact because the net profit on the SUV was higher for the manufacturer the relative cost of energy required to produce the vehicle was lower (because we all know that SUV's are poorly made with less features than a typical sedan). So while I may be using up one type of energy (gasolene), I'm using up less of another (mostly from coal fired power plants).
One answer is to reduce overall gasolene consumption by imposing a fuel tax of $3-$5/gallon. Of course this will only reduce fuel consumption at the national level. If other countries don't do the same they will be able to take advantage of a fuel subsidy from our nation as we arbitrarily reduce our fuel consuption and they take advantage of the reduced demand to get a cheaper price. So in order to make this work from a gas consumption perspective one needs a worldwide policy on gas tarrifs.
posted by humanfont at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2006


Yeah, fun as this is, you'd win way more people over with simple statistics about how much you save in petrol in a year, how SUVs like to roll over in accidents -- basically, play to the selfishness. But I guess Greenpeace prefers to give us all a laugh than actually persuade anyone of anything.
posted by reklaw at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2006


Well, I don't know about you guys, but here in Ottawa, a lot of people see a hummer drive by and they sneer in disgust. So I suspect this ad isn't so much manufacturing a feeling out of nothing, as underlining an existing sentiment.

I think it's clever. But I have to wonder if it gets any airtime, given how sensitive TV stations are to upsetting their sponsors.
posted by neek at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2006


... in a year with a smaller car, that should be.
posted by reklaw at 2:54 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Reklaw: People are far more likely to be persuaded by irrational social fears than by statistics. That's why we have mouthwash for sale, after all.
posted by neek at 2:55 PM on July 23, 2006


I really do wish more people would get rid of their SUVs and drive smaller, more efficient cars. That would make it a lot easier to park my Escalade.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:55 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


That was excellent, and hardly anti-peace.

With regard to "not everyone who has a larger vehicle has one unnecessarily" this is certainly true, but I am staggered by how that appears to be the exception rather than the rule.

Rather like whizzing past traffic in Toronto recently in a two-person "carpool" (I'm still amazed that 2 people is considered high-occupancy) while traffic sat almost deadlocked in the other lanes. Vehicles, all sizes, by the hundreds, one person apiece. I *had* thought that whole urban-single-occupant thing was a bit of a myth, but seriously, there were precious few vehicles in that "high occupancy" lane.
posted by dreamsign at 2:56 PM on July 23, 2006


Expanding on humanfont, it would probably be rise to keep buying gas guzzlers because at least in the US we have emission criteria above say, China or third world nations. Wrap your hippie brains around that. The only real solution is an energy solution that is cheaper than what we currently have.
posted by geoff. at 2:57 PM on July 23, 2006


i was expecting more violence.

hell those co-workers didnt even put sugar in his gas-tank or let the air out of his tires.

seems like a company of wankers.
posted by tsarfan at 2:57 PM on July 23, 2006


If other countries don't do the same they will be able to take advantage of a fuel subsidy from our nation as we arbitrarily reduce our fuel consuption and they take advantage of the reduced demand to get a cheaper price.

I think this means we have to hurry and use up all the oil before any other country does.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:57 PM on July 23, 2006


Bad as an ad - dumb and juvenile, unsubtle, prissy, self-righteous.
And I say this as someone who shares the same feelings about those vehicles and the sad people who drive them. But, live and let live - they're stupid vehicles for most people to be using as everyday transport, the coolness will wear off and reality will sink in, and eventually the masses will come around and go back to enjoying Accord/ok maybe Caprice-sized car cars.
I don't want to live in a world where everyone turns on a guy just because, for all sorts of complex reasons, he makes a poor choice at the car dealership.
posted by Flashman at 3:01 PM on July 23, 2006


They really should have used a Humvee or an Escalade. I think the H2 commercials that had a man feeling emasculated by someone purchasing large hunks of meat was a much better anti-SUV spot.
posted by stavrogin at 3:07 PM on July 23, 2006


Flashman - it was juvenile and wholly image-based (you should do the right thing because people will like you?). That being said, I think the presumption about unnecessary-SUV-drivers is that they chose their vehicle due to image, so attacking that image is exactly on the mark. Want to be seen as macho? Want that image to also include "dork, asshole, and general misanthrope"? A similar effect worked for fur, for awhile.
posted by dreamsign at 3:08 PM on July 23, 2006


The ad is preaching to the converted.

No, it was preaching to the convertible (not the car, silly, the people). Many people want big cars because, well, they want big cars, but they also want to be cool. If Greenpeace can't plant a seed of doubt in a few percent of those borderline people, some of them will be persuaded that it is better to be socially accepted (and morally correct at the same time) than to drive an idiotmobile around town.

It appears to be intended as an antidote to car ads intended to convince people that big cars will set them free and make their lives exciting and happy. Unfortunately, for every Greenpeace ad, there are a thousand pro-car ads.

By the way, saving the world is not anti-peace, it is pro-peace. Destroying the environment is anti-peace -- it kills directly now and it will kill more through the human upheaval that global warming will cause.
posted by pracowity at 3:13 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


A similar effect worked for fur, for awhile.
Yeah, I thought about this, but to me that issue is a lot more clear cut, since you're dealing with the actual, patently unnecessary cruelty and abuse of animals. Whereas personal transportation is more of a grey area.
posted by Flashman at 3:21 PM on July 23, 2006


I just think there are more subtle and effective ways of working the same idea into the general consciousness.
posted by Flashman at 3:22 PM on July 23, 2006


humanfront: That's a great bit of convenient ratitonalization, but it's only true if the price of gasoline is the only barrier to entry to driving, which is clearly BS. There's insurance, traffic, cost of maintenence, and, guess what, some people just don't like to drive. Wow.

But I guess making the streets more miserable by driving an urban behemoth that (a) accelerates slower at traffic lights and therefore creates slower traffic, (b) shifts the collision risk away from you and onto the person you hit, while still being less safe for you because of rollover risk, and (c) are hard to see around, etc, etc... would contribute to fewer drivers, right?

Basically, your argument boils down to: I deserve to drive and people who are poorer than me do not.
posted by Skwirl at 3:23 PM on July 23, 2006


Don't do them any favours on the road, for example.
posted by Flashman at 3:23 PM on July 23, 2006


Can I own a Hummer and take the bus 50% of the time? Does that make me ok with the environazis?
posted by blue_beetle at 3:30 PM on July 23, 2006


I dunno. Is it ok for me to conserve water six days of the week and run the tap for no reason on the seventh?

I kinda thought this was about waste but maybe that's just me.
posted by dreamsign at 3:34 PM on July 23, 2006


I thought it was a bit much; the guy wasn't driving a hummer, just a regular SUV. I don't know how common those are in Britton, though, but here half the office would already be driving them.

That said, this is a nice counterpoint to those disgusting new H3 ads that basically promote the Hummer as a sort of "screw everyone else, it's all about me and mine" attitude.
posted by delmoi at 3:36 PM on July 23, 2006


The ad itself might work. Minivans are unpopular because they're perceived as unmanly. Pickup trucks are said to be only driven by hicks. Parents who would obtain more utility from a minivan buy an SUV instead because of the imagined social cost. People who would obtain more utility from a pickup do the same thing. People who would obtain more utility from a smaller car, buy the SUV to keep up with the Johnsons.

It's a strawman to say that environmentalists are against SUVs that are driven for distinct purposes, but such situations are insanely rare in the city. The Hummer is such a great example of all the excess. The H2s and H3s are cheaply built pieces of shit. There is not a single or combined purpose for which there isn't a better built and cheaper alternative. And yet they sell. Anyone who buys a H2 or H3 is a bona fide idiot. Period. The only non-prickish reason to own one is if you won it on a gameshow.

The stupid thing about the SUV is that it doesn't serve any new niche that wasn't already covered (See: Minivan, pickup truck, jeep). The SUV's popularity has very little to do with function.
posted by Skwirl at 3:41 PM on July 23, 2006


The roads, and more especially the streets, in the UK are way tighter than N. America - even something the size of an S-10 or a Pathfinder is a menace.
posted by Flashman at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2006


Gasoline is the left-wing fetus.
posted by Eekacat at 3:46 PM on July 23, 2006 [4 favorites]


The irony is the guy driving the SUV is the nicest guy in the ad.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 3:48 PM on July 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't buy a hummer, due to the ridiculous amount of waste (and they aren't even really that comfortable, although I hear H3s are better.) I am a big fan of the environment, nature, conservation, and I wholeheartedly believe that global warming has something to do with humans.

But I know that if I had the money it would be very, very difficult to persuade me to not buy an Aston-Martin Volante, which get 11mpg in city driving.

This is, unfortunately, what it comes down to for a lot of people. "That would be really cool. I want one." In 'alpha' and 'beta' world class cities, there's no real need to have a car, as far as I've ever seen, but the vast majority of people don't live in one, so sometimes you need a car, and cars basically suck right now.

If they were all drive-by-wire electrics, then, maybe it'd be alright...
posted by blacklite at 3:49 PM on July 23, 2006


Greenpeace activists kicking a woman to death for failing to properly insulate her loft, though.

LOL, MTX
posted by beno at 4:14 PM on July 23, 2006


Spot-on advert. There are too many dickheads driving cars like this for no reason. Coincidentally, I stumbled across the stopurban4x4s site a few days ago that has some good info on why these things should be banned from urban areas.
posted by TheDonF at 4:16 PM on July 23, 2006


Skwirl writes "Minivans are unpopular because they're perceived as unmanly."

I think it's more that they are as boring as plain white steamed rice. If you could get a 6L Hemi in a Caravan it would make the whole line cooler, not just the hemi equiped models.
posted by Mitheral at 4:27 PM on July 23, 2006


Are all people who criticize SUVs veg*n? Cast the first stone and all that...
posted by jikel_morten at 4:33 PM on July 23, 2006


Love it, love it. I'm sorry, call me an "eco-nazi," but driving an SUV without a really good personal, family, or business reason is selfish given the 300% greenhouse gas emissions (compared to conventional cars) and poor mileage. And in Northern California SUVs are everywhere but having a good reason for owning one is rare, rare, rare.

I'm sure you all remember the "I'm Changing the Climate! Ask Me How!" bumper stickers. Loved those too ... seems like the old site for those stickers has been taken over/sold, too bad.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:50 PM on July 23, 2006


social disapproval is a peaceful method, better than laws or force in terms of peace. And those links seemed to be about police or government agents committing violence on Greenpeace, not the other way around.

I don't want to live in a world where everyone turns on a guy just because, for all sorts of complex reasons, he makes a poor choice at the car dealership.

Even if that poor choice obviously leads to a lower quality of life for everyone around? why shouldn't people disapprove if he's making their lives suck? They are supposed to just hold their tongues, and be excessively polite because?

Our economic choices are inevitably social decisions as well, to try to dissect one from the other is silly.
posted by eustatic at 4:54 PM on July 23, 2006


Skwirl it is a fantasy to think that people will not find ways to consume every bit of energy they can afford be it in SUV's, 6000 sq. foot houses surrounded by an acre of green grass, or 73 inch televisions. My argument is if you want to get rid of SUV's try taxing the fuel. I bet at $8 a gallon SUV's would become either much more fuel efficient, or much less common.

This ad is saying passive resistance is so 1960's, for the 2000's save the earth through passive aggressive. If my owning an SUV really bothers you, why don't you just say, "hey neighbor, your choice of vehicle really bothers me. Have you considered a sedan." Had you done that you would find out that my reasons for buying an SUV are completely pragmatic. Spitting in your co-workers coffee has a 100% failure rate at resolving interpersonal conflicts and getting people to do what you want to do. Also I fail to see how an ad showing a SUV driver against the world will make an SUV owner feel any less validated in the no doubt rugged individualist ego trip that got them to buy the SUV in the first place.
posted by humanfont at 5:51 PM on July 23, 2006


Regardless of the point this is trying to make, his co-workers are still grade school variety assholes. Is this how greenpeace wants to be seen?
posted by IronLizard at 5:52 PM on July 23, 2006


Exactly. This isn't going to change anyone's mind except maybe some 14 year old emo girl who was leaning to that way of thinking anyway. Go ahead and compliment each other on how environmental you are and how horrid everyone else is. But at least recognize that helps no one.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:16 PM on July 23, 2006


Jeez, his SUV is positively tiny compared to most of the ones on American roads.
posted by fungible at 6:41 PM on July 23, 2006


So will my coworkers be giving me blowjobs every time I ride my motorcycle to work? Because if so, I need to switch to a job where any of my coworkers are female.

Should've waited til Peak Oil to quit the bank, dammit.
posted by Eideteker at 8:25 PM on July 23, 2006


The irony is the guy driving the SUV is the nicest guy in the ad.

Except, he drives an SUV. Which, in the ad, puts him on par with a paedophile.
It's a clever "what if..." kind of thing. I like it, even if it is preaching to the converted - they need reaffirmation too. Goodness knows there's enough marketing out there to reassure the irrational and insecure that their Earth-destroying penile compensation device is highly desirable and completely socially acceptable.

Jeez, by some people's reaction you'd think the mild and attention-whoring Greenpeace were a bunch of Earth First!ers or something.
posted by Pseudonumb at 8:29 PM on July 23, 2006


"The irony is the guy driving the SUV is the nicest guy in the ad."

Excellent observation. But the others' vehicles are powered by their own smug passive-aggression. Good for the physical environment, bad for the psychological one, I guess?

And I hope this ad was not made (or distributed!) using any petroleum products. Because unless there is demonstrable proof that this ad has a positive net effect on the environment, I cannot condone it.
posted by Eideteker at 8:31 PM on July 23, 2006


Pajero.
posted by flabdablet at 8:40 PM on July 23, 2006


Feeling smug and superior to someone's consumer choices is the best way to solve any problem, large or small. It builds bridges of communcation and mutual respect. I ride a bicycle, as I'm too poor to afford a car. It's a used bicycle, an old Schwinn. But my friend who only walks and drags all his possessions on a sledge ("no wheels" is a superior concept, as I still have to use oil for my chain), he's a bit more elevated than me. Most exalted is my dominatrix friend, who gets around via palanquin hoisted by former Enron executives. Yes, she's a vegan and one tough bitch. Cheers!
posted by eegphalanges at 9:44 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


The irony is the guy driving the SUV is the nicest guy in the ad

He's the nice guy because you (the viewer) are supposed to imagine that this guy could be you, a perfectly nice, non-smelly bloke doddering through life doing everything right as far as you know, but secretly despised for your stupid use of a large baby-killing machine to get to and from work. You are supposed to laugh at the ad but then to look outside at your SmokeBelcher 5000 and wonder. Or, if you have an OK car or you use a better way to get around, you are supposed to consider that and feel good about it.
posted by pracowity at 12:25 AM on July 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


preaching to the converted

Maybe the ad was designed to elicit contributions from like-minded people.
posted by concrete at 12:59 AM on July 24, 2006


eegphalanges writes "Most exalted is my dominatrix friend, who gets around via palanquin hoisted by former Enron executives."

But all those executives are going to have longer lives now and are actually worse for the enviroment than just driving a car.
posted by Mitheral at 3:31 AM on July 24, 2006


But I guess Greenpeace prefers to give us all a laugh than actually persuade anyone of anything.

Well, the ad may persuade some folks who dislike SUV drivers but feel alone about it that they are in good company. And it may persuade them to act out their dislike. Two positive steps, as far as I can see.
posted by squirrel at 8:53 AM on July 24, 2006


pracowity is right on. The ad can only be effective if your average automove consumer identifies with the schmuck.

Of course, a lot of SUV owners who see the ad will shrug and say, "They're just jealous." Threre's a particular type of consumer who prides himself on his assholery. The more you talk about social responsibility, the more attractive it becomes for them to buy a road-hogging gas-guzzler/put the loudest pipes possible on their Harley/smoke cigars in crowded places/etc.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:03 AM on July 24, 2006


I live in SUV land. The reason I most often hear from SUV owners for driving them is that they like being up high. I hate the MFers because I can't see anything when I get behind or beside one. Makes me wonder if some people aren't buying them so they can see over the ones that are already on the road.
posted by Carbolic at 2:45 PM on July 24, 2006


It's nice how so much of this thread uses the stereotypes in the ad to stand in for actual meaning.
posted by lodurr at 5:16 PM on July 24, 2006


at least in the US we have emission criteria above say, China or third world nations

Uh... no we don't.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:01 AM on July 25, 2006


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