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Patagonia Launches Its First TV Ad To Protect A Region

Patagonia Launches Its First TV Ad To Protect A Region
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The VR film series highlights the importance of Bears Ears National Monument

Jiwon Kim
  • 20 march 2017

Since their conception, Patagonia has had a long history of advocating for the environment. Beyond ‘greening’ their supply chain, the company also gets involved in external affairs, hoping to help save significant natural habitats from human destruction. Believing it is part of their moral obligation, Patagonia has partnered with Google to create an immersive VR series that advocates for the protection of Utah’s Bears Ears region.

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The region itself is home to five Native American tribes and also is known for its rugged terrain that is perfect for climbing. Not to mention, there are archaeological treasures that span back thousands of years. The significance of the area led President Barack Obama to declare it a national monument, saving the area from the hands of private interests. Most notably and unsurprisingly, fossil fuel companies. Unfortunately, the Utah legislature requested that the ruling be rescinded in order to transfer this public land to private land so there can be more fossil fuel development.

As a response, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard wrote an open letter to Utah Governor Gary Herbert, stating that, “Politicians in the state don’t seem to get that the outdoor industry—and their own state economy—depend on access to public lands for recreation.” Instead of pulling just a typical PR move, the company has also moved forward to create an amazing VR experience. These short films take anyone to the region to see the landscape for themselves, while telling the stories of tribes and athletes who value the space. This Is Bears Ears National Monument is available for anyone to see and take action. The site encourages viewers to contact Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to defend the Monument, providing an easy link to do so.

VR technology allows anyone to get a realistic glimpse of how the Bears Ears National Monument looks like and what it means for the people who occupy and visit the land. The brand has partnered with local communities, engaged in phone calls with the governor, and boycotted events to try to protect the territory. However, Patagonia knows that this is not enough. Therefore, this VR film series is directed to galvanize the public to join the fight for the environment because even this large brand cannot change legislation alone.

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