One of the best times of year is the period leading up to Christmas. The nights get longer but the streets are lined with bright Christmas lights, the shops are filled with bright displays and the radio plays endless holiday music. We also look forward to the exclusive Christmas television commercials. But this year, one Christmas commercial has been banned for being too controversial.
Iceland Foods, a British supermarket chain, has created a commercial that is getting a lot of attention. But the commercial is not allowed to be aired on television. The body responsible for giving the green light on ads said that it ‘doesn’t comply with political rules’. So, therefore Iceland’s commercial is unable to be aired on TV.
But that hasn’t stopped them from uploading it to YouTube. The banned Christmas commercial has too important a message not to be shared. When you watch it, you will see why.
Iceland is raising awareness of rainforest destruction through the story of an adorable cartoon Orangutan.
There’s a Rang-tan in my bedroom and I don’t know what to do.
In their banned Christmas commercial, narrated by Hollywood actress Emma Thompson, we see a young girl confused as a baby ‘Rang-tan’ jumps around her bedroom. The adorable Rang-tan trashes her bedroom, ruining her plants, throwing away her chocolate and howling at her shampoo.
When the girl asks the Rang-tan why she is there, the animation suddenly takes a heart-wrenching turn. It becomes a mixture of footage of the rainforest destruction and the cartoon Rang-tan and her mom trying to escape the devastation.
There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do. He destroyed all of our trees for your food and your shampoo.
It is a truly emotional poem paired with powerful animation. But it doesn’t end on a sad note; it finishes on a positive one as the little girl announces that she will fight to save the Rang-tan’s forest. The emotional commercial really makes you think about what we could do to help stop this mass destruction.
Iceland made the promise to remove all palm oil from their own-brand products by the end of 2018. The continued deforestation in South East Asia is having such a terrible impact that 25 Orangutans die every day. In fact, as a result, Orangutans could soon be at risk of extinction. The population has dropped by 50% in the last decade alone.
Maybe if we all make more of an active effort to avoid products with palm oil in, it will reduce the demand and more stores like Iceland will endeavor to remove it from their products. Sign this petition to convince companies to ‘drop dirty palm oil’.
Throughout 2018 we have led the retail industry to take action in areas such as rainforest destruction for palm oil and plastic pollution of our oceans. This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert. The culmination of our palm oil project is offering our customers the choice of an orangutan friendly Christmas, and we wanted to reflect this in our advertising. Whilst our advert sadly never made it to TV screens, we are hopeful that consumers will take to social media to view the film, which raises awareness of an important global issue. Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts. We are proud to be encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices, even without the support of TV advertising, ahead of the Christmas shopping season. – Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland
Watch the powerful banned Christmas commercial below. The government may not want this commercial to be aired, but we can spread the important message through the power of social media.