I’ve written before about how Patagonia uses its activism as the most significant pillar of its marketing, and this week the brand launched a new film aimed at raising awareness and support to preserve one of Australia’s most culturally and environmentally significant wild places, the Tarkine region in North West Tasmania. The new 40-minute doc film Takayna, is named after the Aboriginal Takayna people who lived in large numbers on the Tazmanian coast, and told through the experience of a local doctor who’s also an avid trail runner. It introduces us to the decades-long fight to protect the area from forestry and mining companies, using the narratives of activists and local Aboriginal communities, while also illustrating the complexities of modern conservation. It’s all in the name of getting the region designated as a World Heritage Area. It’s a tall order, but ultimately, and with stunning cinematography, the message comes through loud and clear. Onward!
What: The newest film from Patagonia, on the fight to preserve a wild land in Tazmania.
Why we care: Mixing brand communications with activism is a tough prospect to begin with, but here Patagonia shows just how seasoned its chops are in this space, crafted with past films like DamNation, The Fisherman’s Son, and Jumbo Wild, to name a few. Watch the full film here.
Beats By Dre “Made Defiant: The Mixtape”
What: Beats by Dre’s new World Cup ad is Guy Ritchie at his soccer-related Guy Richiest.
Who: Beats By Dre, Guy Ritchie
Why we care: A multi-part tale, divided up like a mixtape, each tune a different star player from a different country, with various cameos sprinkled throughout. So alongside England’s Harry Kane, France’s Benjamin Mendy, Germany’s Mesut Ozil, and Brazils’ Neymar Jr. are Serena Williams, Thierry Henry, Belgium’s Eden Hazard, Spain’s David De Gea, among others. It may not equal his 2008 classic for Nike, “The Next Level,” but still a fun, stylish romp that just happens to feature a lot of people wearing Beats’ new Decade Collection headphones.
Sonos “Not-So-Smart Speakers vs. The Sonos System”
What: A new Sonos ad that illustrates the techno-tangled web of internet-of- things options.
Why we care: Directed by Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia), this fun spot takes all the hype and promise around voice-activated assistants, smart speakers, and devices and tosses a little absurdity into the mix.
Planned Parenthood “Tracking Trump”
What: A new site from Planned Parenthood that’s essentially a timeline of Trump policies and statements that represent challenges and rollbacks of healthcare, and the appointees who oppose LGBTQ rights.
Who: Planned Parenthood, Work & Co.
Why we care: It’s one thing to yell from the rooftops, but it’s another to provide the receipts to back up your claims. Here, Planned Parenthood’s new site is basically the digital equivalent of that shoebox of receipts you hide under your bed until tax time, except this one documents each and every instance the Trump administration’s actions threaten issues the organization and its supporters care about. A simple and easily navigated way to make a point.
What: A new six-part short doc series telling stories of women who have influenced, and are influencing, skateboarding.
Who: Vans, Vice’s Broadly
Why we care: As creative and rebellious skate culture is, over its history it also hasn’t exactly been a bastion of femininity, often espousing the same dude-centric culture of more traditional sports. Here, Vans and Vice’s Broadly channel take a closer look at the women and girls who are creating and contributing to skate culture of their own. So far in the first three epipsodes we meet an L.A. transplant in New York, a teenager in Michigan, and a stroll down memory lane with legend Cara-Beth Burnside. The latter episode is a great piece of context for the young women featured, showing just how much things have changed.