Cast your mind back to August 2018: the sun shone every day, two YouTubers had a boxing match, and frozen food specialists Iceland teamed up with environmental charity Greenpeace to raise awareness of the issues surrounding palm oil production, orangutan safety, and deforestation.
The advert — which took the form of an animated short directed and produced by Salon Alpin — hit headlines after the supermarket claimed that British advertising body Clearcast had deemed the seasonal spot unfit for broadcast, due to its overtly political messaging. Clearcast was then moved to announce that it was the Greenpeace connection which made the ad unbroadcastable, rather than the content itself.
Whether it was a stroke of brand-building genius by Peter Andre’s preferred hot-dog-stuffed-crust-pizza-stockists or a genuine misunderstanding is by the by – the advert is now set to hit shelves in the form of a children’s book, scheduled for release in August of this year, just in time to celebrate World Orangutan Day. Which is definitely a real thing.
This lounge-to-library switcheroo has been orchestrated by Mother London. Award-winning illustrator Frann Preston-Gannon has been tapped up to provide the visuals, and the advert’s narrator Emma Thompson is poised to pen a foreword. Mother’s very own James Sellick has been charged with telling Rang-tan’s story, introducing a generation of children to the deadly dangers that are a byproduct of the increasingly large palm oil extraction industry.
Wren & Rook, a subsidiary of Hachette Children’s Group, will be publishing There’s a Rang-tan In My Bedroom. Mother’s executive creative director Hermeti Balarin is optimistic that the book will be of some use when it comes to instilling a sense of environmental responsibility in the minds of today’s children.
In a press release accompanying the news of the book, Hermeti is quoted as saying, “Rang-tan was always about broadening Greenpeace’s appeal to reach new audiences. When the film went out, over a thousand schools got in touch to offer help and support for the cause. This book is for them and for all young readers, so they may continue to spread this message far and wide. Their deafening noise and tireless dedication will make big companies stick to their promises and prevent palm oil from devastating rainforests for good.”