We recently noted Greenpeace's campaign against Mattel's Barbie and Ken characters (the charge: over-packaging, too much pink and not enough green — as in sustainable packaging.)
Continuing its assault on brands by turning their marketing against them, Greenpeace has just launched a rebellion against VW, spoofing its popular Super Bowl 2011 spot "The Force" in a viral video campaign that confronts a lookalike Darth Vader Kid with other kids, dressed as good guys and Jedi characters from Star Wars — a way to hold up the brand on Greenpeace's charges of CO2 infractions.
The specific charge, which comes near the end of the kick-off video above: "VW is threatening our planet by opposing cuts ton CO2 emissions." According to the campaign website at VWDarkSide.com, "Right now, politicians across Europe are debating whether to raise the target for CO2 cuts from 20 to 30 percent (based on 1990 levels) by 2020. It's such a necessary increase that many people and organizations — from the UK government to Google, from Ikea to Unilever — agree that they should do it. But not Volkswagen — and it gets worse. Along with spending millions on groups lobbying against the 30 percent target, VW is also opposing new fuel efficiency targets."
On the site's homepage visitors are invited to "Join the Rebellion" and sign an online petition that Greenpeace will send to the execs at Volkswagen — which can't be thrilled, in light of the brand's eco-friendly Think Blue campaign — and in return, give you a peak at Episode II.
Everyone who joins and becomes a "Jedi in the Rebellion" gets a profile page on the campaign site. If you send this page to your friends, they can find out about our campaign and sign up to get involved. Every person who visits your page will give you 1 Force Point. Everyone who joins the Rebellion through your page will give you 5 Force Points. The more people you share this by way of social media, the more points you can earn. If you complete all the skills and companions, Greenpeace will send you a limited edition Greenpeace t-shirt.
The eco-activists also erected billboards in London featuring Darth Vader with the VW logo over his mouth. Greenpeace also dispatched activists dressed as storm troopers wearing the VW logo to serve as street teams in key locations.
While it's odd that Greenpeace Europe is jumping on a German's car brand's US advertising campaign, there's no denying the potent blend of Star Wars, the Super Bowl and that particular spot for maximum viral punch, as so far more than 35,000 people have "joined the rebellion."
More than a few joined just to view the second episode, as some commenters on YouTube have risen to VW's defense: