Sky is launching the first major campaign promoting its Sky Zero brand, with an animated film aimed at inspiring people to minimise their impact on the environment and promoting its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Conceived by Engine Creative, "The day the Moon came to Earth" is a 60-second animation that plays on the "overview effect". The term is used to describe how astronauts feel when viewing Earth from orbit for the first time, when they often comment on the beauty and magnificence, yet fragility, of our planet.
The film opens with the Moon closing in on Earth for a look at the planet. The voiceover says: "To see it up close, what had been so far. The miracle we call 'home'. And everything the Moon saw, the Moon adored." There are shots of whales in the ocean, rays soaring beneath the waves, deer gambolling through woodland and ants carrying leaves along a moss-covered branch.
"But all was not well," the voiceover adds soberly, as the viewer is shown glaciers breaking up and falling into the sea, storms causing flooding in a would-be English village idyll and forests ablaze. "The Moon looked on with worry... " the narrator intones. "Until hope appeared."
Shots follow of a grandmother planting seedlings in raised beds as her granddaughter blows on a dandelion clock. "Because doing the right thing today will make a better tomorrow," the voiceover concludes.
On-screen text reads: "That's why we're going net zero carbon neutral by 2030. Sky 0. Believe in better. See how we can go zero together."
The film is airing on linear TV from today (10 September) in the UK, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Austria. It will be supported by out-of-home, print and social activity.
Sky Zero acts as Sky's overarching brand for its efforts to fight climate change. The media owner has committed to become net zero carbon by 2030. It is a founding member of AdGreen, an initiative aimed at reducing the impact of the ad sector on the environment. It has partnerships with WWF and COP26, while earlier this week it partnered with Tottenham Hotspur to host the world's first zero-carbon football game.
In keeping with Sky's environmental principles, "The day the Moon came to Earth" was made using 3D/CG animation, utilising low-emissions tech and carbon offsetting to ensure it was a net zero carbon production.
For Engine Creative, the ad was a huge undertaking, with a 20-week schedule that spanned the creation of concept art, layouts, character design, modelling, lighting, animation and high-fidelity water simulation – all designed to give the animation an uncanny sense of realism.
The broadcaster has also set up the advertising fund called Sky Zero Footprint Fund to support brands that will help the UK move to a more sustainable future. Last month it announced the winners of its Sky Zero Footprint Fund competition, when five brands - Here We Flo, Olio, Ovo Energy, Pura and Path Financial - were awarded £250,000 each in media space on the satellite and online broadcaster.
The ad was created by Pete Ioulianou and Ollie Agius, directed by Pete Candeland through Partizan Studio. Media was by MediaCom.
Jodie Alliss, head of environment campaigns at Sky Zero, said: "The Moon has watched over Earth since before time began. We thought there was no better character to visit our home and remind us of the wonder it holds.
"But also, to highlight the uncomfortable truth that climate change is having a devastating impact on the things we love. Fortunately, we still have the opportunity to save it and, here at Sky, we want to inspire people to join us on our net zero carbon journey."
Leon Jaume, executive creative director at Engine Creative, added: "The rage and despair at the effects of climate change are understandable, but they are not enough. To effect positive change, we instead chose the motivation of hope.
"We wanted to remind ourselves we live somewhere wonderful that can still be saved. And to see ourselves through fresh eyes. So we turned to our long-term neighbour, the Moon, and imagined how she might respond to seeing Earth up close for the very first time."