LOS ANGELES, USA — Fridays for Future US, in association with Youth Climate Strike LA, unveiled “SILENCED,” an emotionally charged social campaign aimed at shedding light on the devastating impact poor air quality has on Los Angeles, a city grappling with climate change. The campaign — developed with creative agency FRED & FARID Los Angeles — presented AI-generated portraits of young individuals who could have been alive today but unfortunately passed away early or were not born at all due to the harmful effects of air pollution, particularly caused by fossil fuel emissions.
According to a United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures report, an estimated 150,000 premature deaths annually have been linked to climate change. In Los Angeles specifically, an estimated 1,341 premature deaths occur due to poor air quality, as revealed by a study conducted by the American Thoracic Society. Fridays for Future US underscores the tragic truth that these premature deaths rob young people of their future and their voices in the fight against climate change.
“THIS YOUNG PERSON WILL NOT RAISE THEIR VOICE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE, BECAUSE THEY DIED FROM CLIMATE CHANGE,” read the sub-line of each portrait, making it abundantly clear that climate change is not a distant, abstract concept but a pressing reality that demands immediate attention.
Fridays for Future US is committed to connecting these tragic losses to the urgent need for climate action. The campaign urges viewers to support the global climate strike, scheduled for September 15th and 17th, and to join the call to end the era of fossil fuels.
Fridays for Future US said, “We believe that ‘SILENCED’ is a powerful reminder of the real human cost of climate change. We’re facing more and more destructive impacts from fossil fuel pollution, contaminating our water and air, and sickening our communities – with low wealth and communities of color hit first and worst. We need an immediate and just transition from fossil fuels. This campaign is a call to action for all of us to stand up against the fossil fuel industry and work towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. Join us on September 15 and 17 for the global climate strike as we demand an end to the era of fossil fuels. We are the heroes we’ve been waiting for. Are you in?”
“Silenced” represents the ninth collaboration between FRED & FARID Los Angeles and Fridays for Future. In 2019, FRED & FARID Los Angeles launched their first campaign for the organization, titled Local Warming which highlighted the local impact of climate change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference. In 2020, the agency illustrated Greta Thunberg’s metaphor in the spot House on Fire.
In 2021, on the day when NASA’s Perseverance Rover touched down on Mars, the agency unveiled “1%” – a satirical tourism ad for Mars designed to awaken the 99% of humans who will have to remain on Earth. Later that year, in September 2021, the agency released The Denial, a film illustrating global denial about the climate crisis, featuring a man running into a wall.
In early 2022, the agency released We Don’t Care, a film featuring a cast of Gen Z kids questioning the existence of climate change using the familiar rhetoric of climate deniers. This coincided with Fridays for Future’s Global Climate Strike. Most recently, the agency launched I Love You, California, a film illustrating the devastation caused by the near-constant phenomenon of California wildfires and their effects on climate change. Additionally, they launched Aliens, a campaign highlighting human-caused environmental destruction as the real threat, urging voters to elect climate champions in the upcoming US midterm elections.
In 2023, the agency launched the campaign Earth is no toy, in celebration of Earth Day (April 22). Through this campaign, the organization invites G20 leaders to take the necessary steps to address the climate crisis and protect our planet. The campaign features G20 leaders depicted as children, holding our planet like a ball, with the tagline “Earth is no toy.”
Fridays For Future US: Katharina Maier
Youth Climate Strike LA: Sim Bilal
Creative Agency: FRED & FARID Los Angeles
Chief creative officers: Fred & Farid
Creative Director: Nicolas Berthier
Agency Supervisor: Jules Chaffiotte
Strategy Director: Eileen Zhao
Communication Director: Jalila Levesque