Dinosaur disrupts Cannes Lions with climate action message: “Don’t Choose Extinction”

Celebrities join Frankie the Dino on centre stage to mobilize creative community’s support for UNDP climate action campaign that reached 1.8 billion people

June 22, 2022

Cannes, 22 June 2022 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association are bringing a ferocious, talking dinosaur to Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, to urge more climate action from global leaders.

This first-ever film using computer-generated imagery (CGI) made inside the UN General Assembly is the centerpiece of UNDP’s “Don’t Choose Extinction” campaign, which reached an audience of 1.8 billion views worldwide. The Global cinema ad is currently screening in cinemas across thirty countries for an 8-week period, in sixteen languages, with the support of SAWA Cinema Advertising Association and the Global Cinema Medium.

“Since 2015, the Global Cinema Medium has partnered with the United Nations to advance its Sustainable Development Goals. In 2022, although cinema has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, our Global Cinema advertising companies have committed to supporting this campaign on climate change—seen as one of the most pressing challenges of our time,” said Cheryl Wannell, SAWA, CEO. “Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X put climate action high on the list for both themselves and the brands they use. They are among the hardest demographics to reach and comprise the core cinema audience.”

The campaign is nominated in four prize categories at Cannes Lions. UNDP and SAWA Global Cinema Advertising Association will showcase the campaign on the festival’s Debussy stage on Wednesday June 22 at 15.30, together with actors Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Aïssa Maïga, the Danish and French voices of “Frankie the Dino and the President of SAWA, Florian Weischer.

In the campaign ad, Frankie, a computer-generated dinosaur is seen storming into the United Nations General Assembly, seizing its iconic podium, and urging stunned-looking dignitaries to avoid the dinosaurs’ fate—extinction—by making changes to tackle the climate crisis. “At least we had an asteroid,” the dinosaur warns, referring to the popular theory explaining dinosaurs’ extinction 70 million years ago. “What’s your excuse?”

The short film was voiced in 39 languages and features famous actors from around the world, including Jack Black (English), Eiza González (Spanish), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish), and Aïssa Maïga (French). It has been translated into more than 60 languages so far.

“When the idea of a dinosaur at the UN assembly came up, we knew right away – this was the perfect use of creativity for a global cause,” says Boaz Paldi, UNDP Chief Creative Officer.  “The campaign and film shine a spotlight on harmful fossil fuel subsidies, offers solutions to transition to a greener economy and on the urgent need for everyone to take climate action.”

UNDP research released as part of the campaign shows that the world spends an astounding US$ 423 billion annually to subsidize fossil fuels for consumers – oil, electricity that is generated by the burning of other fossil fuels, gas, and coal. By 2021 the value of fossil-fuel subsidies increased by more than US$ 120 billion globally to an estimated US$ 578 billion. The war in Ukraine has caused rising oil prices in many countries and there are fears that governments may increase subsidies even more to help reduce the impact on local populations.

“Fossil fuel subsidies contribute to climate change and growing inequalities around the world. But there isn’t enough global awareness or understanding around this issue.  Putting the campaign on the Cannes center stage, in front of the world’s top creative forces, brings hopes to change all that by using creativity to inform and inspire millions around the world to take action,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and the Danish voice of Frankie the dinosaur.

The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ film was created in partnership with Activista Los Angeles (a multiple-award-winning creative agency), David Litt (US President Barack Obama’s speechwriter) and Framestore (the creative studio behind James Bond, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers End Game). Wunderman Thompson built a digital ecosystem for the initiative to empower people around the world to take action while Mindpool produced a collective intelligence engagement tool for the campaign’s platform.

For more information about the “Don’t Choose Extinction” advertisement and campaign, and to learn how to get involved in addressing climate change, please visit https://dontchooseextinction.com.


Contact Information


UNDP: Gabriela Goldman  Gabriela.goldman@undp.org  |   +972-52-3112139

SAWA: Cheryl Wannell (SAWA, Sydney) – cwannell@sawa.com |   +61 406 215 561


About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries and territories, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.


About SAWA Global Cinema Advertising Association

SAWA is the global trade body of Cinema Advertising Companies who sell the medium and Associated Companies that supply services and products to the cinema advertising industry. SAWA develops international standards and best practices for the Cinema medium and works to improve communication among Cinema Advertising companies around the world in order to facilitate streamlined buying of the Cinema medium for brands and agencies. SAWA has partnered with UN entities since 2015 to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.