Surfrider Rise Above Plastics

Surfrider Foundation has launched a new PSA television commercial raising awareness of the environmental movement’s Rise Above Plastics program. The digital spot features a whale swimming through a sea of plastic pollution desperate to reach the open surface. The whale soon becomes completely coated with plastic debris as he breaches through a floating bed of plastic bottles, bags, and soda rings, where he remains beached. The camera then widens to an aerial view and we see the extent of the floating island of plastic.

Surfrider Whale

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Rise Above Plastics ad was developed at Borders, Perrin & Norrander, Portland, by creative director Jeremy S. Boland and agency producer Scott Fox.

Jeremy Boland’s inspiration for the concept came on a rainy Portland day as he watched trash flow down a street sewer grate near a local playground.

“Walking into work one morning I saw a bunch of plastic, man-made waste filtering through a street drain and thought about how most people never think about its final resting place, our oceans. The Freudian thing about trash for most people is that if it’s out-of-site then it’s out-of-mind. The juxtaposition of our future leaders playing in the school’s playground and plethora of plastic waste spurred me to think about how I could raise awareness of its negative effects on marine life. I knew the spot should have a stylistic appeal and a humanism that is easily communicated to all demographics through animation.”

Filming was shot by director/animator Aaron Sorenson via Laika with executive producer Jan Johnson, producer Annie Pomeranz, production coordinator Adam Guggenheim, art director Ric Sluiter, VFX supervisor Ben Fischler, editor Steve Miller, illustrator Jenny Kincade, assistant animator JD Buffam, after effects artist Jenny Kincade, technical director/CG lead Patrick Van Pelt, technical director/effects Karl Richter, modeler Josh Tonnesen, texture artist Nicholas Nakadate, character designer Terencce Jacobson, lighting artist Thane Hawkins, animator Kameron Gates, rigger Terence Jacobson, Flame artist/compositor Rex Carter, Flint artist Leif Peterson, tape operator Travis Ezell, scheduler Melissa Tvetan.

The Rise Above Plastics Program is the Surfrider Foundation’s response to the problem of plastic litter in our ocean and marine environments. The goal of the program is to educate the public on the impacts single-use plastics have on marine environments, and how individuals can make changes in their daily lives and within their communities that will stem the flow of plastics into the environment. RAP also calls upon people to reduce their plastic footprint by reducing or eliminating the use of products such as single-use plastic water bottles and plastic bags.

“Plastic pollution is one of the most compelling environmental issues out there today,” says Angela Howe, who heads Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics program. “Education and outreach are the critical first steps towards solving this problem. We are excited to be adding this beautiful and poignant piece of advertising to our campaign to address plastics in the environment.”