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September 03, 2009
WWF 9/11 commercial

There is a lot of controversy going on about the supposed ad from DDB Brazil for WWF, about the 9/11 and tsunami disasters. So far, it was only a print ad. But now a full commercial pops up, which doesn't make things any easier for WWF.

Comments on this entry


Posted by: Sam at September 3, 2009 01:59 PM



Posted by: Alexandre Desse at September 3, 2009 02:04 PM


Brilliant - simply brilliant!

Posted by: paul jason at September 3, 2009 02:44 PM


To be honest, I don't like it.
I personally feel there are some things you shouldn't play with.

Posted by: Martina at September 3, 2009 03:29 PM



Imbecile. It doesnt even make sense. Comparing a terrorist act with a natural disaster? hello!

Posted by: jc at September 3, 2009 04:23 PM


Regardless as to if we like it or not - people ARE talking about this. It'd be interesting to see adverblogs stats on people clicking to view this ad, are they up? Down?

Is it 'really' a bad bit of creative?

Posted by: paul jason at September 3, 2009 04:30 PM


@Paul: people is tweeting about it since a couple of hours. Tomorrow I can tell you more about the stats...

Posted by: Martina at September 3, 2009 05:28 PM


@ Paul Jason. Your lack of compassion is frightening. This is not brilliant. This is a stupid wild life group using sensationalism to compare terrorism to something we largely cannot control. More (way more) than 1 million people die from AIDS each year, but ohh no... lets focus on a fucking surge of water.

I hope the Ad firm that came up with that gets their just desserts.

Posted by: Dub at September 3, 2009 05:34 PM


This is poorly devised, sensationalist garbage without even an ounce of compassion. It completely trivializes 9/11, and frankly the comparison is not only invalid, it is not even remotely necessary to prove "natures brutality". Shame on WWF for trying to capitalize like this!

Posted by: Outraged at September 3, 2009 05:59 PM


paul jason- so anything is open, as long as it is good marketing? You make me sick.

Posted by: Disgusted at September 3, 2009 08:32 PM


This simply shows that the senior creative brains at DDB Brazil are not in control of its creatives.
While one might understand that in Brazil, the events of 911 aren't that 'close to home', being a US based agency network you simply can't play around with this issue - even though it's a visceral ad and is hugely effective.
We've all seen ads that are done without client permission - simply for the award show circuit. And most of us just don't tolerate this kind of thing.
The team should be fired, the agency should apologize and DDB, will have egg on its face for quite a while.

Posted by: alan at September 3, 2009 08:54 PM


This is brilliant. And the reactions are even more telling. Where the ad company is trying to raise all disasters to the level of importance of Sept. 11, 2001, too many people believe equating these events "completely trivializes 9/11." Does this suggest that these disasters are trivial? Are they really less important than Sept. 11? I think this is what the ad company is trying to convey.

Posted by: Chris at September 3, 2009 09:45 PM


This ad is in very poor taste and as such has been rejected by the WWF. It is unfortunate that their logo is on it and was used with permission. Perhaps they will ensure better oversight in the process in the future to avoid having their name attached to something so poor. Remember, they are not PETA. :)

Posted by: InBadTaste at September 3, 2009 10:56 PM


I wish I had a bigger window to write in! Sorry, on my iPhone!

Okay firstly - I think this is the most interesting thread I've EVER read on adverblog! As for the replies aimed at me, okay, I'll quote and answer!

"@ Paul Jason. Your lack of compassion is frightening. This is not brilliant. This is a stupid wild life group using sensationalism to compare terrorism to something we largely cannot control. More (way more) than 1 million people die from AIDS each year, but ohh no... lets focus on a fucking surge of water."

Firstly, sorry, but your comment is stupid! "Surge of water!" Ugh! A quarter of a million people died with THAT surge of water! One quarter of a million, add to this the families, the friends, the communities! As for your comment to AIDS - then why don't YOU make an ad that brings THIS conversation!

As for my compassion, sorry! Am I not allowed to express what I feel makes me think 'WOW'?

As for 9/11! I have no reason/desire to explain or express what I felt on 9/11, but... just to be perfectly clear, what happened on 9/11 was a terrible awful horrible event! I felt as sick as anyone else on the planet but this has nothing to do with what DDB have created!

Did you not look at this ad and feel something?

Yes or No?

Sadly 99.9999999999999 per cent of the shit created by agencies has nothing compared to the exposure of this ad and I feel that you and I will remember more about this ad, than you will your own work this year!

Secondly - this has NOT been produced/commissioned etc by WWF, its an ad by DDB to get agency awareness/win awards etc - please correct me if I'm wrong! And I bet WWF are secretly thinking 'WOW'!

"paul jason- so anything is open, as long as it is good marketing? You make me sick."

Yes - anything IS open!

It's 'open' if it makes us wake up and talk about what the fuck is happening on this planet! If it makes us talk about human trafficking, child porn, child prostitution, rape, the unethical so called War on terror and the Invasion of Iraq, women exploitation, endangered species, class divide, the poor an needy etc etc etc! Our jobs ARE to create conversation and bring awareness - if NOT - then carry on promoting soap powder, tissue paper, car insurance, fashion! Be happy with THAT!

Sadly I feel that the people who have dismissed this have completely missed the point of what can be maybe the best piece of advertising this year!

Yes, it horrible! Yes, it's a reminder of the terrible events of what happened on 9/11 and yes this DID deserve the awards it won and the conversation we are now in!


Posted by: paul jason at September 3, 2009 11:52 PM



I actually think the only fault with this ad, is that it should have been made for Greenpeace and not WWF!

Posted by: paul jason at September 4, 2009 12:00 AM


Martine, can you please post stats of views for click through from your posting to the video if you have them, clicks to this posting, amounts of hits to the related comments page etc compared to all previous posts!


Posted by: paul jason at September 4, 2009 12:27 AM


To be honest, it may seem slightly tasteless, BUT, it does what it is supposed to do...
We feel that the loss of life on 911 was a huge number, and it was for such a cowardly act of Terrorism. Now imagine if that loss of life was 100 times worse... That is all this ad is trying to do... It doesn't seem to be disrespecting the victims at all to me, only putting it into perspective.
Try to think, don't just freak out because it was 911.

Posted by: Darren at September 4, 2009 12:50 AM


For those that think this is something commissioned by the WWF, please follow the 'controversy' link in Rocco's original post. The creative agency have a lot to answer for here.

Posted by: Bruce at September 4, 2009 03:54 AM


It's a good strategy but perhaps poorly executed. I found myself comparing a direct attack vs an environment disaster (which in some cases is an externality of human behaviour and therefore almost the same).

If only Americans paid more attention to the threat of environmental disaster as much as terrorism...As long as it initiates discussion - who cares.

Posted by: bjk at September 4, 2009 04:20 AM


Hype. Just more hype. Juvenile ad for sure, but anything that gets people thinking about reality in the world today is fair game. It seems most independent world observers for the most part feel the US was on a direct course for this type of tragedy, as devastating as it was back then. Try to grasp the fact that far worse has happened on a cumulative daily basis since then, and continues ad nauseum. People just need to wake up and take action on important things and speak their minds when and where it counts. But I highly doubt that will happen anytime soon.

Posted by: mani at September 4, 2009 06:09 AM


Bad taste or not (and personally I agree with the people who say this subject should not be touched out of respect for every single person affected by the 9/11 outrage) the concept does not work for this reason:

The fact that our planet is supremely powerful is not reason to take care of it. The reasons we should take care of our planet are manifold including the fact it's our home for generations to come, it's home to just about every other living thing we know and as well as being beautiful in some places, it needs our undivided attention in many other areas.

Adolf Hitler was powerful for God's sake - should we have taken care of him? Ill-thought-through concept I'm afraid, as well as being poor taste in the extreme.

Regards, larnercalebdotcom

Posted by: Larner at September 4, 2009 09:06 AM


Fuck all you oversensitive Americans!
It's almost 10 years and we still have to tip toe around your holy 9-11. You don't have a monopoly on suffering! (you do have a monopoly on dishing out suffering but I won't start on that) But you seemingly have no problems exploiting the pain and misfortune of others! You have no problems when it comes to your Movies, T.V shows and adds that depict suffering that is going on right NOW!

by the way, the ad doesn't really work for me...

Posted by: Jim Jones at September 4, 2009 10:45 AM


Putting the controversy on award show mechanisms aside, they just hit a sensitive chord here which everyone thinks about but which no one dares to speak being the criteria which steer public and media attention…think about the thousands of deaths which take place every single day outside the northern hemisphere and how much attention it draws….
Obviously it is very poorly done (copy, execution, even the analogy is bias) but it has the merit of, although in the worst possible way, launching a debate on that particular subject.

Posted by: Dailycatessen at September 4, 2009 01:15 PM


Americans would say it is tasteless. I say: there is nothing wrong with a little perspective. In both cases it is about senseless death. However 911 was human action and the tsunami is a force of nature that could not be prevented. So why is the WWF comparing these two events? Tsunami's are not caused by any human wrong doing and is a result of tectonic I think WWF is wrong.

Posted by: Pim Vink at September 4, 2009 02:27 PM


It would be nice to know where what country the people commenting are from. I'm from the US and I remember 911. I remember my own fear and thinking - are we at war now? However, a couple years later I found myself in a similar Asian culture the tsunami happened in. My point is, this commercial made me think. I found the apology on a news site I read regularly and then searched around until I found the add. I liked the add. It made me say "Wow!" (like many others). I do not wish to take away any sentiment from those fellow citizens who experienced the loss of a loved one that day. I do want to point out that more lives have been lost by the efforts of our govenment to "fight the war on terror" which now 8 years later - they have not won (and probably won't win).

Posted by: BlueJ at September 4, 2009 02:45 PM


Wow! Jim Jones is on Adverblog? Incredible!

Posted by: paul jason at September 4, 2009 04:07 PM


Well, as for me I will be making no more donations to the WWF.

Posted by: TruthBTold at September 4, 2009 08:14 PM


Agh! For goodness sakes people - read about this and THEN post a comment! WWF did NOT commission this!

Posted by: paul jason at September 4, 2009 11:09 PM


"...lets focus on a fucking surge of water".

And there we have it. The arrogance [and ignorance] of that statement is as absurd as it is disturbing.

The 11/09/01 is NOT a sacred date to the majority of people living on this planet [yes, I know that comes as a shock to you].

Had a tsunami on the same scale as that which devastated Indonesia instead occurred on the coast of N.America it would no doubt be being treated as the humanitarian crisis it was and for many, still is.

The advert deals with scale and perspective. It also highlights our tacit racism in stark relief.

1 American life it seems, equates to that of 20 Indonesians/Palestinians/Iraqis etc...

Frankly, I think these things are relevant issues which should be explored, confronted and dealt with.

Hiding behind righteous indignation and being overly sentimental is just a smoke screen obscuring the real issues.

It deserves an award. And this topic deserves more considered comments and thoughtfulness than some of the bullshit written here.

Posted by: Paul Templeton at September 5, 2009 01:53 AM


Re Paul Templeton - brilliant response. I couldn't agree more!

Posted by: Paul jason at September 5, 2009 10:48 AM


Just to add:

This advert was sanctioned by WWF and released with their permission.

The date of the tsunami was 2004 and not 2005, so poor copy and fact-checking.

It is in poor taste because the tsunami has nothing to do with Wildlife (WWF) so paul jason is correct to say that it should be Greenpeace. Or Friends of the Earth.

I don't think it deserves an award, for the poor fact-checking alone.

I lost friends in 9/11. I'm not angered or even shocked by this advert. I think it's just poor.

Having said all that, it's got a lot of global press. So, it has raised profiles of WWF, DDB (who might not need it as agency of the year at Cannes for 2009) and has started a discussion.

And one final thing: people are allowed to have a difference of opinion. Yes, you might not like what someone else says, but it's YOU that is offended. They have no control over that. Remember this point if nothing else.

And if you are offended, don't give your money to WWF. Although I doubt very much that you were doing that anyway.

Posted by: namewitheld at September 5, 2009 04:48 PM


I've not given my name or email address, simply because I work in the ad industry and for a US company. Right now, I need my job.

You need not publish this if you feel it's not necessary. Or you can if you want to.

Posted by: namewitheld at September 5, 2009 04:49 PM


Awesome, strong message!

Posted by: André Galdino at September 5, 2009 04:52 PM


So for all who believe that it is actually approved by WWF:

Posted by: koningwoning at September 7, 2009 04:34 PM


I don't think it's appropriate to compare mother nature to terrorists. The tsunami was not a preventable tragedy, carried out by individuals with a clear plan to murder individuals. I get the idea of it, but the two events do not and cannot compare.

Posted by: Jen at September 21, 2009 12:04 AM


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