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Patagonia enlists teen activists to speak out for Global Climate Strike campaign

The brand is closing all its stores on September 20th—and buying ads to raise awareness for Climate Week protests.

Patagonia enlists teen activists to speak out for Global Climate Strike campaign
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It comes as no surprise that Patagonia decided to close its doors on Friday for a few hours so its employees can march alongside young activists in the Global Climate Strike. But the brand is also doing something for Climate Week that it rarely does: paying for advertising.

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In order to raise awareness for Climate Week, Patagonia has created a new campaign featuring teen activists from around America and the world, telling Congress and other leaders that there is no room in government for climate deniers.

The campaign will be primarily digital, but the company says it will have a very visible presence along the strike routes in New York City, Washington D.C., and Denver.

In a blog post explaining the company’s position, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario wrote, “Our customers are demanding we act—this generation of youth is not backing down and neither should we. Sharing this common challenge gives us hope. We need to step up, to move forward with optimism and American innovation and ingenuity to invest in solutions and fight the fight of our lives to save our home planet.”

[Photo: courtesy of Patagonia]
Patagonia is joined by a long list of other companies participating in the strike in some way. This campaign represents a subtle shift in the brand’s approach to activism, branching out beyond emails to customers and blog posts into investing in a proactive messaging campaign around environmental issues. It echoes the company’s move during the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, when Patagonia endorsed and promoted ads for Democratic candidate Jacky Rosen in Nevada and incumbent Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).

Both won.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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