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Strawless Ocean

The ocean fights back against single-use plastics

Plastic pollution in the ocean is a problem so daunting it seems impossible to do anything about it. But what if there were one small action that could make a big difference? Enter the plastic straw.

In America alone, we use 500 million plastic straws. Every. Single. Day. Many end up in our waterways and oceans. (Scientists predict that by 2050 there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish.)

In partnership with our clients at the Lonely Whale Foundation, we created the #StopSucking campaign — a SXSW experience, PSA, social media initiative, website and collateral all with the mission of raising awareness about this needless daily habit and its impact on our environment.

Case study video

Sucker Punch: SXSW booth to voluntarily get slapped by an octopus tentacle

At SXSW, we created a high-speed camera booth experience where willing participants got the plastic straw smacked out of their mouth by a giant octopus tentacle. In exchange, each sucker got their own slow-mo video to share on their social channels with their pledge to #StopSucking on plastic straws — for good. 

“Now you might ask, what’s fun about sucking on a plastic straw, suddenly having it knocked out of your mouth by a giant octopus’s tentacle, getting a bit drenched, and then watching the experience in super slow motion on video over and over again? Well, don’t knock it til you try it. It was fun…but it was more than that. I immediately shared the video on social, went to the website to learn more, and it stuck with me for weeks. Oh, and I’ve also stopped using straws whenever possible.”

Ellyn Fisher, The Ad Council

Stop Sucking: Celebrity PSA and social movement

After the fun at SXSW, it was time to start a movement. Social good campaigns can be heavy, so the lighthearted nature of the phrase "stop sucking" was intentional. It gave our celebrity influencers a chance to use some levity with it in this PSA, and then prompted direct challenges online for people to #StopSucking.

“The lighthearted approach is a deliberate strategy. ‘Environmental destruction is such a disheartening topic and facing these realities can breed apathy which doesn’t actually produce change,’ [Grenier] said. ‘That’s why we are committed to creating a movement grounded in positivity and levity. It’s working.’”

CNN "The Last Straw: Is Time Up for This Plastic Relic?"

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And then the real impact started

When Russel Wilson and Tom Douglas got involved, we knew we were making strides. Venues across the city started to go strawless including the Space Needle, Mariners Stadium, Seahawks Stadium, and all Tom Douglas restaurants. Pretty soon, Seattle became the first major U.S. city to legislate a ban on single-use plastic straws. 

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