You might think you're a person who cares about the environment, but what have you actually done about it? How many baby turtles have you saved? None? You do realize that you could just strap a giant metal rake to the back of your SUV, drive in a frenzied pattern all over the beach until you pick up enough trash and voila—you just cleared the path for a buttload of sea turtles to lay their precious eggs in the sand. Easy. No big deal.
This appears to be the message sent in a truly astounding 30-second car ad from Kia, in which a driver does exactly that.
When I first saw the spot last month, I watched it over and over again, looking for some sign that it was a parody. A car company with a presumably massive ad budget, and the knowledge that the burning of fossil fuels is the single largest contributor to global warming in the U.S., wouldn't release something so patently ridiculous, would they?
Seeking answers, I called up David Godfrey, the executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, a Florida-based nonprofit. Godfrey said he knew the ad well, because the agency that made it had asked him for feedback, and lucky for us, his NDA had expired so he could chat about it. According to Godfrey, Kia had even floated the possibility that they could "partner" with his conservancy on it, and that his nonprofit might receive a substantial, six-figure contribution for their assistance.