Quite a statement. But not surprising given Patagonia’s brand purpose and previous political activism (endorsing political candidates, suing the US president for reducing the size of national parks, donating $10m in saved corporation tax to climate change organisations in protest against tax cuts).
And not necessarily aimed solely at the US President, despite the coverage to the contrary that it got over the past few weeks on social media.
The reality is, Patagonia was making a statement about all people in power who deny that human-caused climate change is a thing.
It’s a call to action for Patagonia’s customers. To do something proactive and not just settle for the status quo.
Was it a divisive? Perhaps. Especially when you look at some of the comments on social media calling for ‘conservatives’ to boycott the brand.
Was it a suitably controversial and ambiguous statement designed to be interpreted in a number of different ways at a time when the whole world is focusing its attention on an important election? Absolutely (it’s GREAT copy – short, sharp, simple). It’s also GREAT timing
Was it a clever stance to take? I think so. It consistent with previous actions and plays to Patagonia’s core customers. People who love and appreciate the outdoors. People who actually care about climate change.
Sure, it might have alienated a few supporters of a petulant man-child who think it was aimed at their Commander-in-chief, but they’re not really the brand’s target customer. Like Nike before them with their support for Colin Kaepernick, Patagonia will have calculated that standing for something that matches the values of their customers and fans far outweighs pissing off a few people.
In fact, i’d go as far to say it’s MAGA.
MAKE ACTIVISM GREAT AGAIN.