havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/behind-the-work/the-deforestation-dilemma/
Work

The Deforestation Dilemma

The Deforestation Dilemma

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

August 28, 2018

A collection of dead tree branches brought an environmental campaign to life.

"Deforestation impacts everyone, but it has an even greater and direct impact on remote areas."

Deforestation in Colombia is simply out of control. That’s why one of the country’s major universities and Havas Colombia decided to pick a bone with loggers who continue to destroy the environment. Ironically, the campaign, “Deforested Bones,” used dead tree branches to draw attention to precious life in the forest. Art Director Alma Floréz and Senior Copywriter Oscar González share the story behind this Cannes Lion-winning campaign.

 

The problem of deforestation in Colombia has revved up in recent years. Why is this rate of acceleration more alarming now than in the past?

Illegal mining, the indiscriminate felling of trees, and the burning of forests are devastating more than 145,000 hectares of forests in Colombia. Most sports fields are one hectare in size, just to give you some idea of the vast area that we’re talking about. There is no control, and there is currently no collective awareness to combat these problems.

What environmental problems, for animals and people, are a result of deforestation?

When forests disappear, the animal species that inhabit these areas also disappear, and as a result, the local ecosystems are damaged and Colombia’s biodiversity and resources are put at risk.

Why is it that deforestation might not be a top-of-mind issue for some Colombians?

Because the attention of governmental entities is placed on other problems: corruption, violence, pollution, etcetera. Also, some may feel that deforestation doesn’t have a direct effect on them if they live in, say, a large city. Deforestation impacts everyone, but it has an even greater and direct impact on remote areas.

How is the National University of Colombia looking to change that?

The National University, one of the largest and most influential educational institutions in the country, is aware of this serious problem, which is why it wants Colombians to see this reality that is touching the natural habitats, their animals, and disadvantaged communities.

"We were looking for an impact, a real impact that resonated with people."

Describe the campaign, “Deforested Bones.”

We visited the most deforested areas of Colombia: Amazonas, Caquetá, and Pacífico. We collected dead tree branches to use as raw material, and a rigorous selection was made to find the parts that resembled the anatomy of the animals. A team of artists and biologists worked together with our creative team to transform these branches into life-size sculptures that represent the species and their skeletons in a realistic way.

The exhibition was built as an art gallery, which helped us focus our attention on the sculptures and invite people to reflect on the problem. Using images of these wooden bones, we use OOH, content on social media, and video teasers with the invitation: “Come and see the species that you will not soon be able to see.”

We also created huesosdeforestados.com, an educational platform to learn about the species in detail, explore their habitats, and learn about responsible consumption.

Can you tell us a little bit about the irony of using dead tree remains to show the effort to preserve life?

We were looking for an impact, a real impact that resonated with people. That happened with the expo, which allows you to contextualize immediately. You could see how people reacted when they discovered the sculptured species one by one.

What was the insight that led to the execution?

Our client wanted to make the problem clear. It had to be pedagogical because they are an educational institution. That was the challenge. First, we sat down with them to have more context. Then we went on field trips to see a few of those deforested areas, and then it all came together: an educational art exhibition to raise awareness on deforestation and its consequences.

Where could people see this exhibition of skeletons on display?

You can see the exhibited skeletons at huesosdeforestados.com. You can also check where the next expo will take place.

The campaign recently won a Silver Lion in the Industry Craft category at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Did your team expect such a positive reception—both inside and outside of the industry?

Not at all. It was quite a surprise. We were already happy with the public’s reaction to and interest in the project as soon as it was launched. Receiving the Cannes award was a recognition of impeccable teamwork, and now the idea shines on its own. That Lion was, for us, a reaffirmation that with impactful publicity we can change behavior and boost awareness about serious issues that affect us all.

The goal?

Take this exhibition to every corner of the world. Each year our country loses 14.2 million hectares of trees due to deforestation. We must all know this, and our exhibition will be that vehicle.

“Deforested Bones” will continue its journey through the main museums of Colombia, exposing the harsh reality of deforestation through art. Carrying a message of conscience and reaction to this harsh problem called deforestation.

"Deforestation impacts everyone, but it has an even greater and direct impact on remote areas."

Deforestation in Colombia is simply out of control. That’s why one of the country’s major universities and Havas Colombia decided to pick a bone with loggers who continue to destroy the environment. Ironically, the campaign, “Deforested Bones,” used dead tree branches to draw attention to precious life in the forest. Art Director Alma Floréz and Senior Copywriter Oscar González share the story behind this Cannes Lion-winning campaign.

 

The problem of deforestation in Colombia has revved up in recent years. Why is this rate of acceleration more alarming now than in the past?

Illegal mining, the indiscriminate felling of trees, and the burning of forests are devastating more than 145,000 hectares of forests in Colombia. Most sports fields are one hectare in size, just to give you some idea of the vast area that we’re talking about. There is no control, and there is currently no collective awareness to combat these problems.

What environmental problems, for animals and people, are a result of deforestation?

When forests disappear, the animal species that inhabit these areas also disappear, and as a result, the local ecosystems are damaged and Colombia’s biodiversity and resources are put at risk.

Why is it that deforestation might not be a top-of-mind issue for some Colombians?

Because the attention of governmental entities is placed on other problems: corruption, violence, pollution, etcetera. Also, some may feel that deforestation doesn’t have a direct effect on them if they live in, say, a large city. Deforestation impacts everyone, but it has an even greater and direct impact on remote areas.

How is the National University of Colombia looking to change that?

The National University, one of the largest and most influential educational institutions in the country, is aware of this serious problem, which is why it wants Colombians to see this reality that is touching the natural habitats, their animals, and disadvantaged communities.

"We were looking for an impact, a real impact that resonated with people."

Describe the campaign, “Deforested Bones.”

We visited the most deforested areas of Colombia: Amazonas, Caquetá, and Pacífico. We collected dead tree branches to use as raw material, and a rigorous selection was made to find the parts that resembled the anatomy of the animals. A team of artists and biologists worked together with our creative team to transform these branches into life-size sculptures that represent the species and their skeletons in a realistic way.

The exhibition was built as an art gallery, which helped us focus our attention on the sculptures and invite people to reflect on the problem. Using images of these wooden bones, we use OOH, content on social media, and video teasers with the invitation: “Come and see the species that you will not soon be able to see.”

We also created huesosdeforestados.com, an educational platform to learn about the species in detail, explore their habitats, and learn about responsible consumption.

Can you tell us a little bit about the irony of using dead tree remains to show the effort to preserve life?

We were looking for an impact, a real impact that resonated with people. That happened with the expo, which allows you to contextualize immediately. You could see how people reacted when they discovered the sculptured species one by one.

What was the insight that led to the execution?

Our client wanted to make the problem clear. It had to be pedagogical because they are an educational institution. That was the challenge. First, we sat down with them to have more context. Then we went on field trips to see a few of those deforested areas, and then it all came together: an educational art exhibition to raise awareness on deforestation and its consequences.

Where could people see this exhibition of skeletons on display?

You can see the exhibited skeletons at huesosdeforestados.com. You can also check where the next expo will take place.

The campaign recently won a Silver Lion in the Industry Craft category at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Did your team expect such a positive reception—both inside and outside of the industry?

Not at all. It was quite a surprise. We were already happy with the public’s reaction to and interest in the project as soon as it was launched. Receiving the Cannes award was a recognition of impeccable teamwork, and now the idea shines on its own. That Lion was, for us, a reaffirmation that with impactful publicity we can change behavior and boost awareness about serious issues that affect us all.

The goal?

Take this exhibition to every corner of the world. Each year our country loses 14.2 million hectares of trees due to deforestation. We must all know this, and our exhibition will be that vehicle.

“Deforested Bones” will continue its journey through the main museums of Colombia, exposing the harsh reality of deforestation through art. Carrying a message of conscience and reaction to this harsh problem called deforestation.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: