The advertiser that tells us not to buy anything – a message to click frenzy marketers

Would you spend media dollars just to tell people NOT to buy your product?  Well, let me ask you the question a different way…has a strategist ever told you that to stand out and be noticed by customers you need to be different? And – be honest now – how earth-shatteringly different did the resulting strategy really make you? Shades of grey? Thought so.
No such subtleties for Patagonia, that most rare of things – a conviction driven brand. During the peak US retail events Black Friday and Cyber Monday ( which inspired Australia’s flawed Click Frenzy event), Patagonia took advantage of the consumerist environment not to push its wares, but to ask shoppers to give some thought about their purchasing behaviours.  Here’s the ad.

On it’s site Patagonia explained (and it’s worth reproducing at length):  “Cyber Monday, and the culture of consumption it reflects, puts the economy of natural systems that support all life firmly in the red. We’re now using the resources of one-and-a-half planets on our one and only planet.Because Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time – and leave a world inhabitable for our kids – we want to do the opposite of every other business today. We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else.


The environmental cost of everything we make is astonishing. Consider the R2® Jacket shown, one of our best sellers. To make it required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste. And this is a 60% recycled polyester jacket, knit and sewn to a high standard; it is exceptionally durable, so you won’t have to replace it as often. And when it comes to the end of its useful life we’ll take it back to recycle into a product of equal value. Don’t buy what you don’t need. Think twice before you buy anything. Go to, take the Common Threads Initiative pledge”.


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