Rang-Tan: no palm oil Christmas

Iceland’s Christmas ad, blocked by regulators, raises crucial awareness of palm oil production and deforestation.

Rang-Tan: no palm oil Christmas

Iceland’s Christmas campaign hit the headlines last week as their ad was blocked from television broadcast by advertisement regulators who claimed it was too political.

Political advertisements within the UK are blocked from television broadcast in accordance with the Advertising Standards Authority’s rules.

Part 1: the advertisement

The advertisement sees an orangutan (Rang-Tan) swinging around a young child’s bedroom and ruining all of her belongings.

The child repeatedly claims that there’s a Rang-Tan in her bedroom and she doesn’t know what to do.

The roles are then reversed – with the Rang-Tan in her forest and a human is there too. The human is destroying the forest and the animals within it.

The Rang-Tan repeatedly claims that there’s a human in her forest and she doesn’t know what to do.

The ad is intended to raise awareness of how non-sustainable palm oil is a common ingredient in both food and beauty products and of its disastrous environmental impact.

As a stance against the use of non-sustainable palm oil – Iceland has removed palm oil from all of its own-label products until a more sustainable source is found that results in zero deforestation.

It is dedicated to ‘the 25 orangutans we lose every day’ due to deforestation.

The tear-jerking ad was intended to mark the launch of Iceland’s 2018 Christmas campaign.

So, how was it too political?

The advertisement was in fact originally produced and released by the environmental NGO, Greenpeace, in August 2018. It was launched as part of an awareness campaign to stop palm oil production from causing deforestation.

Greenpeace teamed up with Iceland to ensure the campaign had a larger audience by joining forces with the frozen supermarket brand in a broadcast campaign.

Although the advertisement was blocked from television broadcast – the power of social media prevailed.  The campaign has become a key discussion point, reaching over 15 million views on Facebook and over 4 million views on YouTube.

Part two: the rogue orangutan

The television ad was just the first part of Iceland’s campaign – last Wednesday (14 November 2018) saw a lone ‘orangutan’ roam the streets of London.

Iceland welcomed Rang-Tan into her human environment as part of a PR stunt to further increase awareness of and discussions around the Christmas campaign.

The second phase of Iceland’s Christmas campaign carried the same message as the first: until there is a more sustainable source for palm oil, the store will not carry the ingredient in any of its own-label products.

Why is the campaign so important?

Despite the ad’s political background and motivation, it has succeeded in its original aim. More people are aware of the devastating environmental impact that non-sustainable palm oil carries.

At Kinetic we believe that every decent business deserves to be trusted. A decent business is one that treats its people fairly and makes a sustainable profit while doing as little damage to the environment in the process. Iceland is a decent business.


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