This advertisement is demonstrating the effect of disposable paper towels on the environment. The dispenser has a clear window in the shape of South America and as the paper towels are used, the level of green towels can be seen to decrease. Above this is the logo of WWF and the slogan "Save paper. Save the planet". It is argued in the original analysis that the level of green paper towels represents the rainforests of South America. The original analysis of this advert focussed on the emotional techniques used and the effect that guilt can have in advertising. A study by Jiménez and Yang (2008) was cited in which they found that guilt appeal had an affect on green advertising effectiveness.
It could also be argued that this advertisement uses the interactive experiment template, specifically the activation version (Goldenberg, Mazursky, & Solomon, 1999) as users of a bathroom in which one of these dispensers is placed are able to see the level of paper towels, and therefore the representation of the rainforest, decrease. This is designed to make them think about what the use of paper towels may be doing to the rainforests. If someone were to return to the bathroom later in the day and see the level of paper towels had dropped dramatically it may drive home the message the WWF are trying to get across. The slogan printed on the dispenser further reiterates this point by suggesting that their actions regarding paper towels will have a direct impact on the environment, and they will be able to see a representation of this before their eyes as the level of paper towels won't decrease so much if they use less.
Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science, 18, 333-351.
Jiménez, M. & Yang, K. C. C. (2008). How guilt level affects green advertising effectiveness? Journal of Creative Communications, 3, 231-254.
Xenia Millar (Blog 2)