Greenhouse Gas Escapes in Black Balloons

The Victoria State Government in Australia has launched a campaign featuring black balloons to remind consumers of energy of their capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The TV Ad features helium-filled black balloons emerging from a clothes dryer, filter coffee maker, central heating vent, television, lamp, electric fan, fridge/freezer, and air conditioner. Finally the balloons escape through to the outside, flying up into the sky.

Black balloons fill the sky above Victoria

The voicover: “Each one of these balloons represents 50 grams of greenhouse gas. You can’t see it but you produce greenhouse gas every time you use energy. The average home creates two hundred thousand balloons every year, all adding to climate change. To save energy, money and reduce your impact on climate change use your power wisely.” The super: “You have the power. 1300 363 744”

Sustainability Victoria

The Black Balloons ad is an intiative of Sustainability Victoria. Sustainability Victoria was formed in October 2005 through the merger of Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria and EcoRecycle Victoria. Sustainability Victoria will help deliver the Government’s Framework for Environmental Sustainability, focusing on changing behaviour by providing advice and assistance to inform decision-making by individuals, businesses, governments and communities. They will also support the development and application of technologies and processes that will produce change that may not otherwise garner support.

Minister for Energy Industries and Resources, Theo Theophanous and Minister for the Environment, John Thwaites launched the $1.5 million advertising campaign on Monday June 5. Mr Thwaites said that households accounted for 30 per cent of all emissions caused by energy use.

“Studies have shown that by the year 2070 Victoria’s average temperature could rise between 0.7 to 5.0ºC and this will have a serious impact on our lifestyles and the economy,” Mr Thwaites said. “Just a 2°C increase in the average temperature would mean more bushfires, more severe storms and a 7-35 per cent decrease in Melbourne’s water supply.

“Every day, the energy consumed by the average Victorian home produces 654 balloons or 33 kilograms of greenhouse gas,” Mr Theophanous said. “Research shows that people are concerned about climate change but don’t necessarily think they can do much about it.”

Research conducted in April found that:

  • 82 per cent of Victorians believe climate change is already having an impact on Victoria
  • While 78 per cent are worried about climate change, only 34 per cent indicated reducing their impact on the environment as a current motivator to save energy
  • Of those Victorians currently saving energy, 76 per cent felt that saving money was their main motivation
  • Over 50 per cent have not taken any steps to save energy

The Sustainability Victoria web site encourages people to save energy by washing clothes in cold water, installing or topping up insulation in ceilings, switching off the second fridge, taking shorter showers, switching appliances off at the power point wherever possible, and setting the thermostat to 18-20 in winter and 26 in summer.

You Have the Power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions


The television and newspaper campaign was developed at George Patterson Y&R, Melbourne Australia, by creative director James McGrath, copywriter Sassy Havyatt, art director Frank Muller and agency producer Pip Heming.

Filming for the black balloon TV ad was directed by Mark Molloy via Exit Films, Melbourne, Australia with producer Wilf Sweetland and director of photography Robert Humphreys.

Post Production was done at Digital Pictures Iloura, Melbourne.

Editor was Rohan Zerna. Colourist was Edel Rafferty at Digital Pictures.

Music and sound design was done by Heath McCurdy (Epicure) and Gusto Music, Melbourne Australia.

5 Replies to “Greenhouse Gas Escapes in Black Balloons”

  1. It’s appropriate that this political ad is all about GAS. Politicians are probably the biggest emitters of harmful, vacuous gases.

    I can visualise all those black baloons emerging from parliament houses all over Australia.

    Perhaps if the nation put corks up all our pollies, it might significantly help solve the problem.

  2. i reckon those balloons would have created a gigantic hole in our ozone if you let them all go so really your not helping the problem you pig faces

  3. Each of the black balloons weighs 25 grams recent versions of this Ad say. This is a strange way of measuring gases. Gases are usually measured by volume.

    Qld is inundated by floods, the rest of SE Australia is drought-ridden.

    Australia, most sensible interpreters now say, has a climate of cycles within cycles. What are we to make of all the conflicting information?

    I don’t know. But Australian governments have been panicked by green elements into finding new ways to tax Australians.

  4. What is with those Black balloons in the global warming adverts. The problem is that CO2 is heavier than air, those balloons should fall and sink down – not rise into the air. They would only rise if full of hydrogen or helium. . .

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