In each vision of a not-too-distant future, photographed by Terry Richardson, the devastating effects of climate change (rising sea levels, heat waves, flooding) are depicted not with grave seriousness or a hard-hitting eco-conscious message but, instead, with typical Diesel aplomb: it doesn’t have to be all that bad, they say, there’ll still be nice clothes to wear.
“We’ve always used irony and parody in order to promote debate and stimulate different points of view amongst our customers and friends,” explains Diesel’s creative director, Wilbert Das. “That’s why, since 1992, we’ve called our series of advertising campaigns Guides to Successful Living: a challenging Diesel point of view on some interesting aspects of our society. This new campaign isn’t the first time that we’ve featured such ‘global’ issues – in one of our first campaigns we spoke about the hole in the ozone layer and since then also the power of big corporations, drug use and Third World poverty.”
This latest campaign is also a timely comment on the way that big business latches onto the latest “fashionable” causes without adding anything constructive to the debate. While Diesel admit they don’t have the answers to the environmental issues, these ads aim to generate a reaction in their young audience.
“In the ‘How to… smoke 145 cigarettes a day’ campaign,” says Das, “we created a message about how the cigarette industry used sex to sell their products and, as in the current campaign, we used over-the-top or exaggerated situations to say the opposite of what we intend: to get people’s attention and open up the discussion about the real ‘problem’. The Global Warming campaign isn’t our first addressing a worldwide theme… but maybe the size of the global warming problem is, in the end, much bigger.”