FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Ukiah, California, September 25, 2018) – Employing the instantly recognizable performance style tech unveilings made famous by the late Steve Jobs for Apple, with inspiration from thousands of TED Talks videos around the world, Green Plants for Green Buildings released its own video unveiling “a product so far ahead of its time, and yet so familiar, intuitive and appealing – it’s a wonder we didn’t see it the whole time.”
The product: the LIVINGPLANT™.
“Rediscover The Future With The Living Plant™” uses humor in a clever spoof on the breathless, smug delivery style of the now ubiquitous tech product unveiling – complete with the astonished reaction of the audience – to make a point about the proven benefits of introducing nature via real plants into the workplace.
Research has proven that buildings that contain plants and other natural elements will be more supportive of human well being and performance than those that do not contain these features – what our tech presenter affectionately calls a “dead office.” Workers in office environments with natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight report a 15 percent improvement in their wellbeing, are six percent more productive and are 15 percent more creative.
Watch the three minute video here.
Award-winning filmmaker Justin Bogardus, director and creator of the “Nature Rx” series of videos spoofing pharmaceutical ads, created the TED Talk Tech spoof for Green Plants for Green Buildings (GPGB), a nonprofit organization based in Ukiah, California. Its purpose is to communicate the aesthetic, wellbeing, and economic benefits of nature in the built environment. This includes offices, homes and just about anywhere people gather indoors. GPGB hopes to replicate the success of the Nature Rx video series, which garnered over 40 million social media views to date and has been called “Best Drug Commercial You’ll Ever See” by Outside Magazine.
GPGB President Mike Senneff, co-owner of Natura in San Antonio, Texas, said the idea grew from a board member discussion at the time the “Nature Rx” series first gained popularity. Senneff sought out Bogardus and found a willing and enthusiastic colleague in the filmmaker.
Why did GPGB decide to use humor? “We have seen other videos in our industry about the benefits of plants, everything from the NASA studies to infographics,” said Senneff. “They are all informative. But nobody really approached it as – let’s share the message, but let’s share it in a way that’s more memorable. If it gets out there and people enjoy viewing it, perhaps it can have a much broader reach than a simple informative video … We think our message can go further if it’s done in a humorous way,” said Senneff.
Bogardus agrees. “Humor disarms an issue and makes it palatable.” Bogardus holds a master’s degree in psychology, and explains the area of the brain that processes new ideas and new behaviors also processes humor. “In telling a story through film/video, humor is a great connector and eye opener to new things, and also the undeniable truth of things. The same part of the brain that says “a-ha” is connected to the sense of surprise and delight we get from laughter and humor.
“For instance – everyone knows your office or commercial space, really any indoor space is way better with a bunch of plants. People are happier, people connect more easily, they’re healthier. It’s funny how easily we forget this and create these deadening blank lifeless interiors. The good and humorous news is – we can fix it with the amazing things folks are doing with plants and living walls now.”
Mike Lewis, Executive Vice President of Foliage Design Systems in Orlando, Florida, says he was motivated to fund the project to support its serious objectives. “The message about plants improving our living and working environments needs to get out … This video has the potential to do just that in a fun and creative way.”
The video was professionally scripted, produced, and filmed in front of a real TEDx audience live, using familiar forms people know so well in the cultural consciousness to create spoof humor, just as Bogardus spoofed drug commercials with the “Nature Rx” series, now seen all over the world at hundreds of international film festival screenings.
“When you hear Steve Jobs or folks introducing new software, new apps, or new robots, the language and tropes they use are really hilarious,” points out Bogardus. “We all accept the strange words, jargon and technology presentation style cues they use, because they’re so normalized. But when you step back, they’re sort of ridiculous. So yes, I parody these formats.
“And I’d say it was a great joy for me personally, considering how many big TED-style talks I’ve given in the last three years, presenting alongside Jane Goodall at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, at Wisdom 2.0 and my own TEDx talk in Vail in 2016 to also share some of my experience of giving TED talks in the writing, developing, casting, filming and creating of the ‘Rediscover the Future Today with a LivingPlant™’ video,” said Bogardus. “I hope folks get some good laughs and remember, when it comes to the incredible benefits of The LivingPlant™ in the office or commercial space, we all sort of know this already.”
Visit gpgb.org/livingplant for more details on the video project.
For more information about Green Plants for Green Buildings, visit https://greenplantsforgreenbuildings.org/
GPGB is on Facebook and Instagram as @GreenPlantsForGreenBuildings, on Twitter as @GPGBdotORG, and Pinterest as @GPGBorg.