The youth climate strikes – our top 5 protest messages

The Youth Climate Strikes inspired us all at Yoke so much that we decided to take a look at the messaging on show and see what we could learn.

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On the 15th of March 60 towns and cities in Britain hosted protests attended by thousands of passionate young people who are angry at current inaction around climate change. The Youth Climate Strikes inspired us all at Yoke so much that we decided to take a look at the messaging on show and see what we could learn.

What struck us was the creativity and flair that had been put into their messaging and sign design. The range of slogans was rich, from the witty and funny to the more realist, somber doomsday tone. Each one’s intent was to communicate and engage with a message from the heart, but they all went about it in slightly different ways. Some played on humour, others empathy and some fear. Above all, we as adults working in the communication game can learn a thing or two from these inspiring young people, the innocence and heartfelt approach to what they did is something we all strive for in our work.

We picked out our top 5 messages and why we thought they worked.

Don’t burn our future

This really brought it home to us, as adults and parents who help to shape our collective children’s future it feels like currently there is a lot of work to be done. Sombering and to the point.

Clean up our planet, it’s not Uranus

Humour has always been a favoured method for getting people’s attention. This one though had that special ingredient which allowed those who are old enough to get the joke whilst still making sense for those who aren’t quite old enough to understand the uranus pun…brilliant.

Save our planet, it’s the only one with dogs on

We love anything that is a bit off the wall and this one ticks that box well. Humour when used carefully can aid the digestion of serious topics and messages, people are more open when they feel relaxed and at ease and humour can achieve this. However, statistically speaking there probably is another planet out there with canine-esque quadrupeds – hopefully they might be in charge, as they would probably do a better job than us sapiens.

The dinosaurs thought they had time too

Using anthropomorphism well, this clever idea helps us empathise with the non- human beings and regard them as equals. Did Dinosaurs gather, discuss and share ideas about their future, perhaps not, but it creates a powerful and evocative image.

Our house is on fire, climate change is real

Relevance is a huge marker in how someone will relate to a message, if it does not feel relevant then most people will move on. Embracing a clever play on words, the creative leap to from our planet to our house makes everything feel more immediate and close to home in a way we can all relate to.

Our take-aways

Whether you are exploring ways to frame an upcoming campaign, or how to communicate the impact of your latest research work, here are some tips our children can teach us:

  • Make it relevant – how does this affect me?
  • Give it context – how does this fit into my world?
  • Allow people empathise – why should I care?
  • Creative imagery metaphors in messages help relatability
  • Humour for the right application