Frankie the Dinosaur Goes Viral: UNDP’s “Don’t Choose Extinction” Campaign to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reaches 1.5 Billion on Social Media


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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When Frankie the Dinosaur unexpectedly entered the historic UN General Assembly Hall and addressed global delegates he had a simple message for humanity, “Don’t Choose Extinction”. The address, which was captured in a short film that launched on October 27th, 2021 quickly went viral as the centerpiece of the United Nations Development Programme’s “Don’t Choose Extinction” campaign.

Launched just ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, the campaign enabled the UNDP to insert itself into global conversations on the climate emergency, specifically about the importance of ending fossil fuel subsidies. The campaign has since reached more than a billion people around the globe, cultivated new and existing partnerships, and unified the communications and outreach of UNDP country offices and regional bureaus with an impactful message: Don’t Choose Extinction.

Most importantly, the COP26 declaration for the first time called for the end of fossil fuels and pledged to accelerate “efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”

“Don’t Choose Extinction” is the UNDP’s most successful campaign ever in terms of engagement, impressions and video views, supported by a mix of organic and added value media partnerships, organized by PVBLIC Foundation.

To date the campaign has garnered 1.5 billion social media impressions. The launch film, digital content, and fossil fuel subsidy reports, secured over 3,000 media mentions and a potential reach of 4.7 billion unique readers and viewers. The breakdown of this media coverage reflects the global impact of the campaign, with coverage appearing in 98 countries in Africa, Asia, the Arab States, Latin America, Europe, the US and Canada. 53 UNDP Country Offices adapted the film and voice-over recordings were produced in 38 languages. In terms of engagement, the campaign has been an unprecedented success:

  • Over 6,000 people across 127 countries engaged with the Global Mindpool survey and there were 915,362 interactions with content on the Don’t Choose Extinction website
  • There were more than 800 million views of the launch film across all platforms and in multiple languages, including 340 million views of the film in China alone, with it also going viral in locations including, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Israel

Thanks to the partnership with PVBLIC Foundation, Frankie the Dinosaur has appeared on billboards in Times Square and in more than 1,250 media outlets across the United States. His message has been shown in televised PSAs, including Hulu TV, reaching more than 128 million people. Radio PSAs have reached more than 40 million people. The partnership has provided a combined total ad value of more than $6 million.

The media amplification campaign has also been supported by EarthX, the campaign’s exclusive non-profit media partner, Boom Broadcast and Media Relations, and Majic Wheels Corp, a financial technology and software development company. Majic Wheels Corp is also the campaign’s strategic data partner, supporting the development of the “Global Mindpool”, the collective intelligence platform to take action against climate change.

“The support from PVBLIC Foundation and its partners has been vital to helping us reach millions of people with this important message. The issue of ending fossil fuel subsidies is firmly on the climate agenda and we look forward to continuing our work together in 2022,” said Boaz Paldi, Global Engagement & Partnership Manager at UNDP.

Celebrities and advocates played an essential role in the success of the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign. The star of the film, Frankie the Dinosaur was voiced by actors Jack Black, Eiza Gonzalez and Aissa Maiga in the English, Spanish, and French version of the film. Other A-list celebrities and high-profile advocates posted their support to their millions of followers on social media, including Greta Thunberg, Whoopie Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Billie Eilish, Padma Lakshmi, Michelle Yeoh, Cody Simpson, Ellie Goulding, Dave Matthews, Rosario Dawson, Aidan Gallagher, and many others. The estimated reach for these social media posts is over 118 million, and counting as celebrities continue to engage.

“PVBLIC Foundation is proud to have supported the campaign since inception, when this was just an idea. We are excited but not surprised to see that this campaign has gone viral and become one of the most historic climate campaigns of our time. The message is important, the creative concept is brilliant and the execution has been flawless. It has been a privilege working with Boaz Paldi, the UNDP team, and our partners EarthX, Majic Wheels Corp, and Boom,” added PVBLIC Foundation Executive Chairman Sergio Fernández de Cordóva.

Ending fossil fuel subsidies is more important than ever and plans are underway to continue the campaign throughout the year, with a series of events, activations, and thought leadership designed to keep up the momentum as we approach COP27 in November. The campaign and Frankie the Dinosaur will next show up on Earth Day in Dallas, TX at Earthx2022, the world’s largest environmental expo and forum.

Learn more about PVBLIC Foundation

Learn more about United Nations Development Programme


Melisa Perez, Communications Manager PVBLIC Foundation
Email:  melisa@pvblic.org

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