Shell’s Polar Pioneer rig was leaving US waters and heading up the BC coast to commence drilling in the Arctic. The implications of a spill for the Pacific Coast would be catastrophic and Greenpeace wasn’t going to stand idly by.
In less than 4 weeks we branded, organized, promoted and hosted an event which crystallized BC (and Canada’s) distaste for unsafe drilling on our sensitive coast, and attracted more than 5,000 people to a protest party on Jericho Beach.
Toast The Coast (before the coast is toast) was a tongue in cheek celebration of the coast, a send off party, that highlighted the risk that the coastline was under. Pre-event assets (posters, coasters, stencils, 'toastcards' (images toasted onto bread) and social media assets) were a hit and we also scripted and produced two short films featuring a homeless polar bear that were narrated by Rachel McAdams that helped build momentum and were shared around the world.
Three months after the event, Shell withdrew their plans to drill in the Arctic, citing public pressure and technical issue as the reason.
The environmental movement didn't necessarily need another public campaign to highlight destruction, they needed a party. In part because they might as well kiss the coast good bye and in part because that same coast deserved a proper wake.
So we took at look at the life of a displaced polar bear by creating two short film in downtown Amsterdam (Greenpeace's global headquarters) and narrated by Oscar-award nominated actress and sometime Dot Dot Dash Collaborator Rachel McAdams. Then we brought in the food trucks, the artists, the activists, the young, the old, the staunch environmentalists and the musically inclined and we put them all together in a public display of celebration and lamentation and it just might have worked. Not only did thousands attend the Jericho Beach event, but the media went wild for it. Joined by collaboraters ranging from Academny award winning actress and activist Jane Fonda, to First Nations chiefs and West Coast Environmental leaders, the event made headlines.
Then Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams lent their voices to the issue and the deal was sealed...and the seals were saved. Well, we're still working on that, but Shell did pull out of the Arctic shortly after the event which was a huge concession and a major step towards protecting the Arctic