Greenpeace enlist a polar bear and 100 celebs to back their ‘Save the Arctic’ campaign

By on Saturday, June 23, 2012

Save the Arctic is off to a flying start – an endless list of celebrity endorsements, an announcement at the Rio+20 global conference on sustainable development and a nice PR stunt involving a polar bear wandering the streets of London have secured a huge amount of media coverage. Google count 1,630 results when searching ‘Greenpeace Save the Arctic‘ in the news application, including a grouping of a whopping 275 related articles.

The Arctic is currently owned by the whole world, as it is part of the High Seas, but some nations are now making territorial claims to allow in oil companies; Russia, Canada, the US, Norway and Denmark. Greenpeace’s campaign aims to ban oil drilling in Arctic waters and protect the environment. The campaign is pushing for countries to create a United Nation resolution that would establish a global sanctuary in the  region, a similar sanctuary in Antarctica was created 20 years ago when the mining industry was banned from operating there.

“The same dirty energy companies that caused the Arctic to melt in the first place are looking to profit from the disappearing ice. They want to open up a new oil frontier to get at a potential 90 billion barrels of oil. That’s a lot of money to them, but it’s only three years’ worth of oil to the world.” (

To support the initiative, Greenpeace have enlisted 100 celebrities to sign a petition; names include One Direction, Sir Paul McCartney Richard Branson and Cilla Black, to name a few. Their names will be scribed on an ‘Arctic roll’, which will be planted on the seabed 2.5 miles below the ice and marked by a ‘flag for the future’. This petition is also on the campaign website, where Greenpeace are aiming to get 1 million members of the public worldwide  to show support and sign their names to go alongside the celebrities against major oil companies.

Paul McCartney said to ITV, “It seems madness that we are willing to go to the ends of the Earth to find the last drops of oil when our best scientific minds are telling us we need to get off fossil fuels to give our children a future. At some time, in some place, we need to take a stand. I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic.”

Greenpeace also left passers by in amazement when a polar bear was captured walking down streets in London, to draw attention to the campaign. It was of course just a man in a suit, but it grabbed people’s attention and made the news, this I believe is a more successful version of a previous stunt Greenpeace initiated earlier this year, see here.

Another element created to support the campaign is the following video, ‘Vicious Circle’, which is said to have been made in just 24 hours:

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said to PRWeek: “This is one of Greenpeace’s biggest campaigns and one that relies, above all, on the participation of people from across the world who feel strongly enough about the future of our planet to actively take a stand. In creating the commercial in 24 hours we started a collaborative, frenetic process that will carry this movement right to the top of the world.”

Involved agencies: Borowski, BMB

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