Polar Bears in Environmental Defense

Environmental Defense Fund has a public service announcement (PSA) urging Americans to take advantage of mass transit, car pooling and biking to combat global warming. Two polar bears were formed by well known New York street artist Joshua Allen Harris, a student at the School of Visual Arts. He had gained a reputation for making creatures from plastic bags and animating them by attaching them to New York subway ventilator grills.

Inflatable Polar Bears in Environmental Defense Fund advertisement

Click on the image below to play the Polar Bears video.

The video was posted in early September on popular social networking and video sharing websites, and environmental and consumer blogs. The Ad Council distributed the broadcast PSA to TV stations nationwide, with a particular emphasis on major cities with public transit. Additionally, as a result of a partnership with SeeSaw, the world’s most extensive digital out-of-home media network, the PSAs aired on screens in convenience stores, health clubs and on college campuses throughout the country.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these ‘Ride, Don’t Drive’ PSAs are worth a million words showing a clear connection between personal action and climate solutions,” said Andy Darrell, Vice President for Living Cities Program at Environmental Defense Fund. “Americans can make a rare triple play with ‘Ride, Don’t Drive.’ Just leave the car at home a few times a week and you can give a helping hand to a polar bear, your lungs and your family budget.”

The PSAs, available in lengths of 30, 60 and 69 seconds, conclude with the words – “Help save the planet. Ride, don’t drive.” and directs viewers to www.fightglobalwarming.com, where they can calculate their personal contribution to the climate change crisis, and get a series of simple energy-saving tips.


The Polar Bears spot was developed at Ogilvy New York by executive creative director Chris Wall, group creative directors Chris Mitton, Terry Finley, senior art director Dustin Duke, senior copywriter Jon Wagner, agency producer Carrie Simon.

“Catching people’s attention in a city like New York is challenging,” said Jon Wagner, copywriter and Dustin Duke, art director at Ogilvy New York. “We found this artist and asked him to adapt his work to feature a polar bear and her cub, the icons for global warming. The idea was to create something that would stop people in their tracks and to encourage them to think about the little things they can do every day to help save the planet.”

Filming was shot by Tim Godsall via Biscuit Filmworks, Los Angeles, with executive producers Shawn Lacy, Holy Vega, director of photography Bryan Newman, producer Jon Messner.

Editor was Geoff Hounsell at Lost Planet.

Music was performed by Stars of the Lid.

See more on Joshua’s street art in this video from New York.

Click on the image below to play the video.