WHAT: A 15-minute film from Patagonia and the non-profit Alaska Wilderness League conservation group, telling the story of two Gwich’in women fighting for their ancestral home, and the survival of wild animals from oil drilling and industrial development.
WHO: Patagonia, Alaska Wilderness League
WHY WE CARE: The Gwich’in people of Alaska and northern Canada have been fighting to protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and other threats for three decades. Now Patagonia is using its storytelling skills and global brand reach to build support–much like it’s done with DamNation and Jumbo Wild–by tapping into our emotions with a film.
The brand has also launched a Care2 petition asking Congress to officially protect the Refuge’s coastal plain as wilderness, which already has more than 47,000 signatures of its original 50,000 goal, in its first day.
As the White House is about to get a whole lot friendlier to drilling, its up to people–and like-minded brands–to make their voices heard in as many ways as possible on these issues.
It’s also right along the lines of what Patagonia’s new vice-president of marketing Cory Bayers told me not long ago, that we can expect the brand to turn up the volume on its activism, and strive for telling more dynamic stories.
“We can be a little more irreverent, a little more provocative, not shying away from voicing our displeasure or opinion on a matter, when I actually think we need to scream it,” Bayers said back in October. “If we’re talking about change, we need to be yelling more about it in certain areas, doubling down on some stances, but also being inclusive. Yelling about an issue doesn’t mean we can’t be inclusive to a wide variety of people, rallying them to the cause.”