24 Sep 2018

Patagonia: Takayna Project

Our New York Executive Creative Director, Ross Clugston, talks to The Drum about Patagonia's Takayna project: What if Running Could Save a Rainforest?

The Drum's Creative Director's Choice gives a chance to highlight the work that creative directors think is the best in the ad world. Our New York Executive Creative Director, Ross Clugston, writes about Patagonia's Takayna project, a film project which looks to save a valuable rainforest in Tasmania by making it a World Heritage Site. 

"Too many campaigns these days are doing the same thing - selling stuff using old methodologies to create campaigns about products people need a reason to care about. Building 30-second commercials that rely too heavily on punchlines instead of real storytelling. Patagonia does the opposite. They don’t make ads, they craft narratives about communities and are one of the few brands that understand their customers are craving an emotional connection that goes beyond the product.

They aren’t selling a fleece or a wetsuit, they are teaming up with the Bob Brown Foundation to try to save one of Australia’s most culturally and environmentally significant wild places: Takayna /Tarkine. They partnered with Keith Malloy to tell stories about people’s deep connections with the ocean.

Patagonia’s product always takes a secondary role in its communications, to the point where I’ve found myself asking – why wouldn’t I buy a Patagonia wetsuit instead of a RipCurl wetsuit? I live in Rockaway, NY, I make surfboards and understand the waste equation associated with surfing products. The purchase decision became a no-brainer. When I bought the wetsuit, I bought into the brand’s values and I get taken beyond the ‘Patagucci’ price barrier and past the ugly fleeces. I watch the films with my kid, we go surf, that’s the story."

First published in The Drum.