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Morgan Freeman Lends His Iconic Voice in Fierce Bid to Save Our Oceans From Their Biggest Threat

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Made in partnership with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the campaign aims to inspire a new generation of activists to make a change on plastic use

Morgan Freeman Lends His Iconic Voice in Fierce Bid to Save Our Oceans From Their Biggest Threat

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050. This is one of the reasons for a new film created in partnership with Google, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, United Nations and Tribeca Enterprises and narrated by Morgan Freeman, that identifies a new creature of ocean inhabitant.

Sadly, the Covid-19 global pandemic may expedite the terrifying plastic prediction. The WEF recently reported that in Thailand plastic waste has increased from 1,500 tons to 6,300 tons per day, owing to soaring home deliveries of food. In the United Kingdom, illegal waste disposal has risen by 300%.

Understanding that in just a few decades we could have plastic waste swimming in every corner of our planet, decimating entire fish species and ecosystems along the way, YouTube, Google, Tribeca Enterprises, the United Nations and Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) are launching a campaign for one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Titled 'Life Below Water: The Arrival of a New Species', the underwater short film is narrated by the one and only Morgan Freeman and has all the elements of a well-crafted, modern-day nature documentary, while it provides a sneak peek into the future of our oceans in a world where plastic pollution continues to increase at its current rate. Tribeca filmmaker Brian Schulz directed the piece.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 - also titled 'Life Below Water' - and to inspire a new generation of activists to take action. Because if they don’t act, much more than just nature documentaries will transform in our time.

“Ocean pollution has an impact on the food we eat, the air we breathe, land and wildlife across the globe, and our overall health and wellness. Not to mention the wide range of social and economic burdens that will grow steadily as the problem gets worse. Every part of our life is affected by the health of our oceans, so ignoring the problem will prove more detrimental than we can imagine,” said Kate Baynham, associate creative director at GS&P.

The campaign launched on 4th August on YouTube and will continue to unfold over a four-week span via the platform’s video ad sequencing offering. This will include two :06 ads to tease interest, a full-length short film and four :15 action-oriented messages. The campaign structure aims to target and deliver content to viewers on YouTube in a pre-defined sequence that unfolds the entire story over a month-long period.

"With attention spans shrinking and a majority of YouTube viewing taking place on mobile devices, a sequential approach to storytelling provides the opportunity to tell stories in easily digestible parts,” said Christine Chen, partner and head of communication strategy at GS&P. “For this series, we entice our sequence with a surprising invitation from Morgan Freeman, serve viewers a full-length short-film and conclude with actionable steps people can take to make our oceans cleaner.”

In the coming months, 'Life Below Water' will be featured at the UN General Assembly, the Tribeca Film Festival, and Advertising Week 2020. The piece will appear next to the work of campaigns from seven other agencies around the world, all of whom, along with GS&P, were selected by the UN, YouTube and Google to create films raising awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

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United Nations

Partnerships Lead, Sustainable Development Goals: Frances Simpson-Allen


Product Marketing Manager: Danielle Landress

Product Marketing Manager: Olivia Jovais

Creative Partnerships Lead: Paul Eyers, Jeff Blankstein and Paula Castro


VP Production: Nina Chaudry

Creative Co-Chairmen: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein

Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson

Associate Creative Director: Hanna Wittmark and Kate Baynham

Art Director: Eleanor Rask

Copywriter: Trevor Joplin


Design Director: Ryan Self

Designer: Benny Gold

Account Services Managing Partner: Leslie Barrett

Account Manager: Emily Bollier

Brand and Communication Strategy

Partner, Head of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan

Partner, Head of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen

Senior Communications Strategist: Jacob Sperla

Brand Strategist: Darien Ahn


Head of Broadcast Production: Leila Gage

Business Affairs

Director of Business Affairs: Judy Ybarra

Production Company

Company Name: Spacestation

Production Company City: New York, NY

Director: Brian Schulz

Director of Photography: Chris Bryan

Executive Producer: Melanie Paul

Executive Producer: Matthew Mills

Production Manager: Ellie Cano

Production Assistant: Allie Fuller

Post-Production Supervisor: Marni Ellis

Editor: Sharika Ajaikumar

Assistant Editor: Chang Wang


Diving Services Director: Robbie Gonzalez

Diving Services Coordinator: Giovanni Gonzalez

Safety Diver: Daniel Alamilla, Felipe Ancona and Chuck

Editorial Company

Company Name: Elevel Editing

Company City: San Francisco

Editor: Graham Willcox

Assistant Editor: Liz Norris

Director of Elevel: Michael Damiani

Post Producer: Allison Lambert

Audio and Sound Design Company

Music Company name: Elias Music

Music Company City: Los Angeles, CA

Music Composer: Jonathan Elias

Sound Design Company: Lime Studios

Sound Design Company City: Los Angeles, CA

Sound Designer: Joel Waters

Mix Company: Lime Studios

Audio Engineer: Joel Waters

Assistant Mixer: Collin Thomas

Agency Director of Film and Music Curation: Tod Puckett

VFX Company

Company name: Elevel

Creative Director: Mike Landry

Technical Director: Nathan Shipley

Motion Artist: Luke Davisson

VFX Company 2

Company name: a52VFX

Supervisors: Jesse Monsour and Pat Murphy

Flame Artists: Kevin Stokes and John Valle

CG Supervisor: Andrew Romatz

CG Artists: Aemilia Widodo, Ariana Ziae-Mohseni, Joe Paniagua, Michael Bettinardi and Josh Dyer

VFX Producer: Drew Rissman

Executive Producers: Kim Christensen and Patrick Nugent

Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall

Colour Company Name: a52 Color

Colourist: Gregory Reese

Senior Colour Producer: Jenny Bright

Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson

Managing Director: Jennifer Sofio Hall

Categories: Environment, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Wed, 05 Aug 2020 09:56:26 GMT