Greenpeace-Iceland supermarkets banned Xmas ad

Greenpeace and Iceland supermarkets were banned from showing their joint Christmas 2018 ad on British TV, for being deemed (=considered) ‘political’, and as such, not complying with advertising rules in the UK. Controversy ensued (=followed), with a petition to show it on TV even reaching more than 670,000 signatures. The ad, however, could eventually be shown on social media, attracting millions of views and worldwide support.

You can watch the ad below. The second version features onscreen subtitles.

 

Full text here (p.8)

The text has been written in rhymed poem form. The voice over is by Emma Thompson, in my view one of the best RP (received pronunciation, Standard British English) speaking voices in the English speaking world. Both her accent and intonation provide a great example to be imitated by students of English.

Given both the relevant message and the enchanting prosody of the ad, the following activity could be carried out: before watching the video, just show some screenshots from the ad, like the ones below:

  • Where is the ad set?
  • What is the ad going to be about?

Then, hand out the worksheet below to students. Ask them to guess the missing word(s) in each gap in pairs. That way, their expectations about the message that the ad will be conveying will be activated before actually watching the ad.

You can then play the original ad for students to check their answers against the original text. Which version do they like best?

You can finally ask them to pay attention and try to imitate the stress and rhythm of the poem, as well as the pronunciation of keywords and rhyming words.

Some primary schools in the UK worked alongside Greenpeace and created new versions of the poem of their own:

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