“Don’t Choose Extinction” global cinema ad aims to inspire movie theater audiences to join fight against climate change

UNDP, SAWA campaign film tackles the climate crisis, launches in cinemas around the world

Posted May 11, 2022

The ad is the centerpiece of UNDP’s “Don’t Choose Extinction” campaign, which reached an audience of 1.5 billion and garnered 3000 media mentions. The original 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.

UNDP

New York – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and SAWA Global Cinema Advertising Association today launched an eight-week international cinema advertising and social media campaign aimed at raising awareness of the climate emergency and spurring broader, urgent action to address it.

In the 60-second cinema 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 the red-carpet launch of the film’s cinema release, some of the campaign’s leading voices and partners will be presented with the inaugural UNDP “Frankie” Award for moving the needle on climate action at an exclusive event on May 11 at the Times Center in New York City featuring an awards ceremony, live orchestra performance and short film screening. The honor will be given to two organizations and one individual.

SAWA and the Global Cinema Medium’s will be receiving the award in honor of their tremendous efforts to screen the 60-second spot in 30 countries during a two-month campaign. The cinema ad, produced in 15 languages, has been mastered and distributed by UniqueX in the United Kingdom.

Starring in the ad as the French voice of Frankie the dinosaur, Senegal-born French actress Aïssa Maïga (“Mood Indigo,” “Paris je t’aime,” “The Court”) will be awarded at the event for using her platform and creativity to raise awareness and mobilize support for climate action.  

Additional members of the arts and entertainment industry participating in the event include American actor and producer Aasif Mandvi (“Evil,” “Would I Lie to You”) and Nigerian actress Folake Olowofoyeku (“Bob Hearts Abishola”).

The “Frankie” Award was inspired by the ad’s namesake animated Utahraptor, the first computer-generated character to appear inside the iconic General Assembly building. The ad is the centerpiece of UNDP’s “Don’t Choose Extinction” campaign, which reached an audience of 1.5 billion and garnered 3000 media mentions.  The original 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.

“While the global cinema ad is entertaining, it addresses issues that could not be more serious,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said. “It urges countries to phase out fossil fuels subsidies, which harm the environment in ways that threaten our very existence. UNDP is deeply grateful to SAWA and the Global Cinema medium for its commitment to climate action and generous support in sharing this film through cinemas in 30 countries around the world.”

“Since 2015, the Global Cinema Medium has partnered with the United Nations to advance its Sustainable Development Goals. Again, 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.”

“I am truly honored to be one of the recipients of the inaugural Frankie Award by UNDP and congratulate other honorees SAWA and Global Cinema Medium. Climate change disproportionately affects those living in poverty, who suffer the most devastating effects of droughts, floods and too many other disasters,” said actress Aïssa Maïga. “I am proud to lend my voice to Frankie in the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign ad because it advocates for green and equitable solutions that leave no one behind.”

“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.  The cinema release of the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign hopes to change all that by using creativity to inform and inspire millions of moviegoers around the world to take action,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and the Danish voice of Frankie the dinosaur.

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

Initiative PR: Christina Papadopoulos – CP@InitiativePR.com | +1 917 922 7955

Paulette Kam – PK@InitiativePR.com | +1 310 500 9738

Sarah Yorke – SY@InitiativePR.com | +1 805 698 2483

UNDP: Victor Garrido Delgado – victor.garrido.delgado@undp.org |   +1 917 995 1687

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.