Green gets a re-brand

Extinction Rebellion

Green gets a re-brand

It’s all been kicking off in London. On Monday 15th April, protests organised by Extinction Rebellion, an ‘international non-violent rebellion against the world’s governments for criminal inaction on the ecological crisis’ began. The protests have been grabbing the headlines daily: the type of ‘disruption’ marketers usually only dream of.


And when you approach it from a brand perspective rather than a political one, things get even more interesting. Extinction Rebellion have pretty much pulled off a complete rebranding of the environmental movement, dramatically changing the way it’s perceived.


First up, these guys are changing the target audience. This isn’t about market share, but about addressing the people who actually have the power to get shit done. They’re not interested in persuading you to forgo that plastic straw in your mojito, they’re going straight for the decision makers, no holds barred.


So they’re taking the language of Greenpeace at its most militant and seriously upping the ante. Simple and single minded.


Consider first the naming: the urgent, non-compromising ‘Extinction Rebellion’ vs the idealistic, cuddly ‘Greenpeace.’


Then there’s the powerful strapline – Rebel for Life – nice in that it works as:

A dramatic call to action/arms

An empowering self-justification for those involved.Even the word ‘life’ there has a double meaning: for the protestor’s lifespan and for the ongoing viability of the planet

The supporting messages are stronger, tougher statements too: ‘this is an emergency’ and ‘we demand.’

Visually, there’s a massive shift. Gone are doves, rainbows and nice tree images. This is about stark minimalism set against bold colours. Their Facebook page juxtaposes their logo against pleasing Victorian style nature images, but these aren’t making it on to the banners or the website.

Just check out their Facebook page for their manifesto video which is short, to the point and lays out the mission.

The nature of the protests appears to have changed too. This isn’t pun-heavy, ‘aren’t-we-clever?’ placard waving like the pro-EU demonstrations. The messages here are far more focussed, uncompromising and outward facing. ‘Climate change = mass murder,’ for example.

The approach to set-piece stunts is also striking, as they’ve realised protestors in suits are far harder for authorities to dismiss than protestors in tie dye.

Hat tip to This Ain’t Rock N’ Roll for their work here.

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