For turning crunchy environmentalism into effective branded content.
“There is a lot of really cool, old-school environmental activism that we do, but I see my role as making it that much more sticky and getting the next generation engaged,” says Joy Howard, who joined Patagonia last fall after a previous job as vice president of marketing for Converse All-Star at Nike. “I’m homing in on using outdoor sports adventure as a way to turn consumers into activists.” Here are two of her recent endeavors that use content as a centerpiece:
- A 30-minute film called Worn Wear premiered in 15 retail stores on Black Friday last year and encouraged consumers to repair their clothing rather than purchase brand-new stuff. Surprisingly, sales increased by 42% over the previous year’s Black Friday, according to the company.
- A feature-length film called DamNation, which won an audience choice award at South by Southwest, advocates dam removal to promote river restoration. Howard created the marketing and distribution strategy behind the film’s nine-city tour this spring (followed by a June debut on Vimeo and a college run this fall). The brand will also urge consumers to take action and sign a Change.org petition that pushes President Obama to crack down on the nation’s deadbeat dams.