Take a walk along any beach around the globe or swim in any majestic ocean and you’ll likely encounter plastic waste on the sand and in the seas. The sad reality is that by 2050, there will be more plastic and trash in the world’s oceans than fish. To raise awareness about the terrible state of the planet’s oceans, Brooklyn-based advertising agency Conquistadors has created a campaign for client Ocean52 that breaks in honor of World Oceans Day. As people around the globe work June 8 to protect and conserve oceans, the agency’s new “Postcards from the Oceans” campaign aims to engage global citizens and world leaders to fight for ocean health. As oceans generate the oxygen we breathe, regulate global climate, help feed humans, and provide fun and inspiration, the call-to-action is imperative. Ocean52, the startup, Barcelona-based beverage company that devotes 52 percent of its earnings to ocean conservancy, is banking that the campaign will illustrate the ugly truth about eight of the world’s most polluted oceans.
Agency Founder and Executive Creative Director Mauricio Alarcon said jaded citizens often look the other way when they see upsetting photos capturing ocean pollution. To engage people, the agency created eye-catching, destination postcards that artfully capture the majesty and pollution of world oceans. From the sea-tire cemetery of Florida oceans to the polluted Caribbean, Red Sea, Mediterranean, and not-so-great Barrier Reef, the beautiful postcards clearly tell the ugly truth about ocean pollution.
“Humans instinctively close their eyes to what’s not beautiful. That’s why we wanted to show the ugliest face of ocean pollution in a hypnotic way,” said Alarcon, a one-time creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, J. Walter Thompson, and Young & Rubicam. “The act of receiving a physical postcard in your mailbox is automatically associated with good news. We thought that if we camouflage the bad news with beautiful art, we’d get people’s attention. Ironically, when the world talks about ocean pollution, people tend to picture places far away from them. But, but when you see the places featured on our postcards, you realize pollution is closer than you think. Everyone thinks the Mediterranean is all glamour but it’s actually one of the most polluted oceans.”
Fifty-two world leaders including the Secretary-General of The United Nations, the United States Secretary of Energy, Pope Francis, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency will receive postcards sent by the CEO of Ocean52 and ocean ambassadors like pro surfers Kepa Acero and Lee-Ann Curren, snowboarding world champion Mat Crepel, and open water swimmer Miquel Suñer. The cynical greetings penned on the postcards that will be distributed for free at restaurants and surf shops in Barcelona, Paris, Biarritz, and Lisbon aim to spur leaders to act. As influencers share the cards and messages on social channels, the hope is that they ignite world participation. By featuring a different postcard each day for a week following World Oceans Day on Instagram, Ocean52 hopes users will tag someone they love as much as they love the ocean.
“Postcards from the Oceans is an initiative where activism meets art, engaging people to be part of the collective desire of protecting the oceans,” said Ocean52 CEO Santi Mier. The company sells a range of healthy beverages that are fortified with ocean minerals and magnesium that help reduce tiredness and fatigue. The flavored waters are packaged, of course, in bottles made 100 percent from recycled materials.
The postcard illustrations were created by Los Angeles artist Cecilia Fletcher and Barcelona-based illustrator Julian Lorenzo.