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Creative Water Cooler Creative

Patagonia pens reversible poem to raise awareness of climate crisis


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

November 30, 2020 | 3 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the most talked about creative from the brands that should be on your radar. Today, we look at Patagonia's clever reversible poem that warns readers about the impending climate crisis.

Patagonia print ad

Patagonia's reversible print ad aims to raise awareness of the continuing climate crisis

“We're all screwed,” begins Patagonia's print ad, featured in this weekend's edition of The New York Times. “So don't tell us that we can imagine a healthy future,” the ad continues in the same exhausted tone.

A defeated stance, many readers thought, for a brand that makes it a mission to inspire its wearers to enact action on climate change. Maybe, like we've been warned time and time again, it is too late, they pondered.

But just as all hope for a green future was lost, a welcome parenthesis at the bottom turns things around. “(Now read this bottom up)” it instructs, upon which the ad transitions into a promise of hope, written in Patagonia's recognisable style.

Like Patagonia, in 2019 the domestic abuse charity Refuge turned to clever backwards poems in a bid to turn attitudes on their head. Alongside McCann, it developed a number of full-page ads that from the outset appeared to be cosy poems about Christmas, but in reality, were chilling accounts of domestic violence.

The print ad was part of Patagonia's wider ‘Buy Less, Demand More’ anti-Black Friday campaign. As with previous years, the responsible outdoor clothing brand did not go on sale on Black Friday, nor Cyber Monday. ‘Buy Less, Demand More’ sees the brand release stories and clips that stress the effects of mass consumption as well as its impact on the planet.

Patagonia was one of a number of creative responses to the growing anti-Black Friday, which also included GiffGaff, Allbirds, Deciem, and Pubic Fibre.

See the full print ad below:

patagonia full print
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