Crowdsourcing: PSAs away from guns to more productive things

On a discussion of mass shootings on Twitter, this got posted:

And here’s my thing.

That’s a damn good tag line for a shitty, destructive, dangerous, useless product.

Meanwhile, I keep reading about how the climate change movement is facing challenges because it’s perceived as “feminine”.

So this is what I’m interested in:

I want to take that tag line and crowdsource counter-ads which appeal to men (um, men who want their “man card reissued”) and promote fighting climate change as a manly thing to do.

Who’s making them? I can make some, though I’m the first to admit I’m more of a UI designer than a graphic designer. Anyone who wants to put one together – go for it.

How to get eyeballs on them? Not sure yet, open to suggestions. There’s always places like Twitter. There must be other venues. Maybe even placing some ads.

How can we make sure they’re effective? I’m hoping the happy mutants here can provide the first line of feedback.

Anyone interested? I’ve got some things to finish today, but I’ll post one in the next 24-36 hours. I’d love to hear other thoughts about this.


This is facetious but


Yeah, so basically the opposite of that! :grinning:

And I guess we can’t really say “want to be perceived as having a large penis?”, but maybe we can work in something like “you can be a big part of a long-term legacy for the entire planet.”


I’m just sitting down to try my hand at some “ads”, and it occurred to me that some violent video games where the player is an earth-protecting hero might be in order as well. So basically some military shooter like Call of Duty, except you spend at least part of your time planting trees.

But the dialogue still has to be like your typical war-themed FPS. Except eco. Some lines I thought of:


“CO2, FUCK YOU!!!”


Damn, there was another really good one, but I can’t think of it now.

Thing is, violent video games may not spawn mass shooters, but they do help spread messages. If something is a satisfying FPS that lets you blow off steam and virtually save the planet, surely that is not a bad thing.

The teeny tiny kitten problem being that I am not a game dev either.


I’m sorry. I’ve tried to be positive on this idea, but…

No, it isn’t.

The idea that there is a “man card” is the problem.

This fictional ideal of what a man should live up to is embedded in our culture; you’re not going to be able to overwrite it with your own definition of manliness.

If you want a perfect example of this:

Fantastic ad. It’s channeling “manliness” towards “more productive things.”

The response to it:

A sampling from YouTube comments:

You have founded the “Me Neither” movement. “I don’t use Gillette products anymore.” “Me neither!”

Alienate the demographic you exclusively sell to. Great marketing

They got their marketing degrees from Libtard University.

8 Billion dollar loss
How’s that for Social Justice?
And no, still not buying your products

This is Gillette. They had tons of market share among the exact people they needed to reach with that message. And the result was an overwhelming sniff of disdain from the people they were trying to reach.

If you want this to work, you’re going to have to aim younger. To redefine what “manliness” is among those people who are still trying to figure that out. Because the people who already think in terms of “man cards” and who feel they need to live up to them, already have an idea what that is, and it isn’t environmentalism. It’s a Bushmaster.

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Simply: we don’t have that long. We have 12 years. That’s not even a generation.

I don’t disagree with you, but we’re not going to capture sufficient atmospheric carbon AND get gender equality in 12 years. Doesn’t mean we should quit on getting rid of toxic masculinity, etc. But if you look at the old propaganda posters from WWII, the Allies were very inclusive and really meant it when they said everyone played a part. They encouraged little kids to ration the water in their own homes ffs. How boring and mundane is that? But kids got into it.

I’ve been scrolling through “tree planting” Creative Commons photos since I last posted, and they’re… yeah, really passive and traditionally feminine, even when there are no women in the photo.

I don’t want to redefine manlines (this time). I just wanna put a tree planting stick or a shovel in Action Man’s hand instead of a gun.


I don’t disagree with that, either.

I just don’t think that overt appeals to masculinity is the way to accomplish this. At best, it’ll be laughed off; at worst, it’ll backfire, like Gillette’s ad did.

Something more subtle might work, like reframing those tree planting pictures to make it look like more of a manly activity.

But if you try to outright say, “Consider your man card reissued” with a picture of a guy planting a tree… That’s not even going to go over as well as the Gillette ad.

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Taika Waititi gets there first as usual:


We are still at the ideation stage.


Just thinking aloud on this.

Because we already know real men, in the fighting Uruk-hai sense of the word, don’t nurture. They destroy or they exploit.

I bet geoengineering would be OK to pitch, though. Taking care of problems with cool new gadgets is still a thing men-men get to do. I wonder if that isn’t even be part of why the idea remains so popular – though also because it would also save us from cutting back on anything, plus give something for rich people to take credit for (unlike maintaining things, which they hate). There’s a lot of inherent overlap between those categories.

The problem of course is that geoengineering is not likely to do much useful any time soon. The question would be, then, is there anything in the intersection between exploitative masculinity and things that do need doing? Maybe some part of replacing fossil fuels could be painted that way. I’m afraid I don’t see much. All the biggest things are about not exploiting the world to death.


One thing I was thinking about was the “plant a billion trees” thing. Make contests of it. Have guys who are built like The Rock brag about how many days in a row and how many trees.


It’s a good idea in principle, but you’re still trying to harness a conformist drive and direct it into a fundamentally nonconformist act. Which is, I suppose, possible, with a lot of fast-talk, but not an easy path to take (directing a nonconformist drive into a conformist act is much easier, but, unfortunately, not what you’re trying to do).

There are just other drives (e.g. coping with workplace ennui and stress) that can more easily be directed towards nature, rather than the stereotypical (and therefore conformist) toxic masculine drives which tend towards MN/GF.

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