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Pitch

Environmental-related movies can be more accessible through CSR programmes. Let's screen them beyond niche festivals and small viewings.


Description

Summary

There is not enough importance given to entertainment programmes that are at the same time educational during prime time television. Environmental issues are affecting everyone of us, and should be given more voice. There are already movements to create environmental awareness such as through eco-related film festivals. At the same time, many companies are running CSR programmes that target environmental concerns. However, they are usually focused on active projects where they step in to provide operational assistance. Seldom are there CSR programmes that focus on creating awareness. We think that a lot of can be done in this aspect, and companies can definitely lend a big hand. To create change in the society, it is important to instil the right awareness and give education an opportunity. Our proposal is to involve companies' CSR programmes in sponsoring prime time television slots in China such that there will be an exponential increase in the reach of environmental movies, and garner momentum to generate a push towards an environmentally-conscious society.


Is this proposal for a practice or a project?

Not sure


What actions do you propose?

Television is still the major mass media avenue in China, with a very wide-reaching impact. The Chinese television viewers represent a big market for impactful screenings. We propose that companies direct part of their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts towards sponsoring the screening of environmental-themed movie during the prime-time hours. Companies that are already supporting environmental programmes will be able to consolidate their environmentally-friendly reputation via such sponsorship screenings. New or existing marketing campaigns can be run simultaneously to drum publicity of these sponsored screenings. Retail companies, for example, can use the opportunity to run viral campaigns on Weibo and WeChat and at the same time educate their consumers on environmental facts related to the movies. On-screen contests with sponsored prizes by the companies can also be used to increase viewership.    

There are a lot environmental movies of excellent calibre that are as interesting and thrilling to watch as Hollywood Blockbusters. Currently, most of these movies are relegated to be screened at exclusive festivals or viewings of limited size. Only a selected crowd are able to attend them and usually they consist of people who already have a level of environmental awareness. By enabling the screening of these movies on Chinese television, the audience size is increased multi-fold. 

Movies are able to captivate and inspire, and good movies are able to create dialogues and discussions. Compared to bite-sized media like posters and radio shows, movies as an information conduit is very powerful. Their visuals can move the audience; their content can inform the audience; and their duration is long enough to tell a compelling story. In other words, they will be utilised to expedite the environmental awareness of the society while entertaining at the same time. 


Who will take these actions?

Corporate companies with CSR programmes and television broadcast companies.


Where will these actions be taken?

These actions can be taken up in various provinces and major cities of China. Each of these province or city has their own broadcast stations, yet each of them can reach a large market because of high population size. 


In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

China


Country 2

No country selected


Country 3

No country selected


Country 4

No country selected


Country 5

No country selected


Impact/Benefits


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?


What are other key benefits?


Costs/Challenges


What are the proposal’s projected costs?


Timeline

The proposal will have immediate to medium-term impacts. 

The major immediate impact is the drastic increase in viewership of the movies, creating a crucial mass for environmental awareness to be instilled. The viewers may be exposed to the issues highlighted in the movies for the first time. Watching the movies at the initial times may not translate instantly into a change of attitude towards the environment. However, it will be easier to reinforce the awareness when more movies are available.

With repeated screenings and inclusion of more titles over time, the society's environmental awareness will be strengthened, such that it effects a change in their daily habits, e.g. what they choose to consume, how they choose to consume. This creates a bottom-up movement where members of the society will encourage each other to behave in an environmentally-friendly manner. The trickle over effect of such changes can cause a major shift in consumer habits and push the environmental consciousness upwards to businesses and government. 


About the author(s)

Lee Yen-ling, Research Assistant at Tropical Marine Science Institute, Singapore.

Zhang Yuzhe, MSc. in Environmental Management (National University of Singapore), BA in Radio and Television Journalism (Nanjing Forestry University) , China. 


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References