Tagged 'nature'

The North Face urges stressed-out urbanites in China to ‘Go wild’ and escape to nature

The fast pace of urban life and resulting disconnect from nature is a point of tension and anxiety for city dwellers across the globe. For Chinese white-collar workers in megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the drive to succeed has led to intense pressure, long working hours and the type of sedentary day jobs that can be spiritually suffocating. Kean to this insight, outdoor brand The North Face launched a campaign advocating that people escape—if only for a weekend—and return to the wild in order to release, rediscover and reconnect to the world through valuable experiences.

In a humorous manifesto spot, urbanites are encouraged to literally drop everything in their hectic lives and retreat to the great outdoors, taking back their sanity in the process. Set to racing drums, the spot opens with a man who’s given up on a chaotic traffic jam (he exits his car, placing the keys on the roof as the voiceover commands, “Damn you, traffic jams”). A man smashes an alarm clock that’s signaling the beginning of his morning routine, and an office worker shoves files into the arms of her perplexed colleague before strolling out. As the commercial cuts across various urban stressors, the drums and voiceover climb to a crescendo, then break to scenes of nature and the sound of a deep exhale. We see people trekking across the plains and frozen tundra. “Your life deserves another possibility,” the voiceover says. “To discover. To release. To gain. Go wild.”

Photo Credit: marketing.tudou.com/TheNorthFace

‘Green curtain sets’ take off in Japan with summertime energy shortages

Japanese people had great interest in addressing energy issues related to global warming before the earthquake, but habits are hard to change. Now, shortages of electricity for the hot summer have forced the issue. PLANT to PLANT is one innovative solution: In June, seed and plant farmers from Fukushima—within the nuclear power plant’s evacuation area– started nationwide distribution of a “green curtain set,” which includes a bitter gourd nursery plant and a planter. A green curtain is an energy conservation method—plants outside a building help keep inside temperatures down. Bitter gourd can also be harvested as a summer vegetable. Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retailer, reported that sales of green curtain kits are up ninefold this year, according to Businessweek. Companies like Hitachi and Kyocera are undertaking similar initiatives, giving seed kits to employees as well as planting around their facilities.

People here are becoming more open to the wisdom of old times and the power of nature vs. unquestioned reliance on limited resources. Many of the paradigms for energy use will likely change as Japan finds a new way forward. Brands that can offer sustainable, nature-based, tradition-inspired solutions that also help people maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to stand to make a lot of headway.

Photo credit: rockriver


山田 詩津 (東京)