Patagonia’s Facing Extinction Campaign
Working with Patagonia to drive attendance to the Global Climate Strikes
On Friday the 20th and 27th of September 2019 youth activists from around the world downed tools, left their classrooms and met in towns and cities across the globe to strike for the future of our planet.
The purpose of these peaceful protests was to ask for climate justice, demand action be taken to address the global climate crisis and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. “Our house is on fire, let’s act like it” read signs, “There is no Planet B” adorned others.
Patagonia have always been a brand that puts environmental causes at the forefront of everything they do. Their brand mission statement explains that they’re ‘In Business to Save our Home Planet’- it is their whole raison d’être. So it was only natural that the brand would want to help and participate in the global strikes in any way they could. This meant a total blackout on their site, closed retail stores with full height window vinyls, city centre billboards and, of course, a social push that put the campaign at the forefront of their global audience’s minds. The objective of this was to create awareness and drive attendance to protests across the world.
The main video asset for the campaign showed youth activists explaining why they strike with the words ‘Facing Extinction’ emblazoned across their faces.
Full digital takeover
We worked alongside Patagonia to help them raise awareness and drive attendance to the global climate strikes across Europe through digital advertising. The campaign was a fully rounded end to end process and involved everything from editing assets and organic cross-platform posting to paid campaigns across multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Google Display and Youtube.
The ads began delivering a number of days before the global climate strikes were due to take place. The idea was to flood all of Patagonia’s digital output; this meant hitting pause on all other campaigns while the ads ran. There was also a takeover of the website which was blacked out so users who landed there would be educated about the strikes and advised on the location of their nearest one.
Political and social ad snags
Getting the paid element of the campaign to deliver presented challenges. Due to the nature of the creative, the ads were flagged by Facebook for referring to social issues – something that the platform restricts.
In order to get the ads to appear, we needed to comply with Facebook’s social and political advertising policy and add a disclaimer to each ad making it clear who had paid for it. The policy also requires each ad to be uploaded by a local representative in each of the locations where the ads were intended to run – a process that we were in control of overseeing to ensure the campaign could run in all of the brand’s main European markets.
Once built, all ads were required to go through the Facebook advert review process which can take a number of days for ads it deems to be of a political nature. The creative for this campaign came through very late in the day, so it was all hands on deck to get the ads live in time for the strikes.
After a number of frantic emails to Patagonia’s Facebook representative, we were able to get the ads up and running in time. Luckily we had plenty of experience with social and political ads and the process involved to get them approved due to our previous work on the Artifishal and Blue Heart campaigns, so we were able to get the ads live as quickly as possible.
The campaign assets were incredibly simple but striking and impactful.
What did we achieve?
Despite the issues we experienced in getting several of the ads approved by Facebook and Instagram’s political verification process, the campaign was still highly successful with over 4 million people reached on these platforms alone. The campaign achieved a further 26 million impressions across Youtube and Google Display advertising. A total of 56,821 people clicked through to the Climate Strike page on the Patagonia website. Strikes were attended by tens of thousands of youth activists across the planet.
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