The outdoor clothier outfit Columbia teamed up with Prolam Y&R to decorate the façade of a newly refurbished building in Santiago, Chile, with the image above. Translated into English, the headline reads “The air that cools your home heats up the world.” Columbia belongs to the Conservation Alliance, whose website describes their corporate tag-team as “a group of specialty outdoor businesses that has become a powerful source of grass roots conservation and environmental funding.”
While the ad is incisive, I’m skeptical about Columbia’s motives, and concerned that the Conservation Alliance is greenwashing Columbia’s dirty laundry. I am a fan of ambient campaigns that directly link a social problem with their source, which this ad does explicitly, but my concern over ad creep trumps any lauding I would do about the placement of the ad. The billboard covers the windows of private homes, and would likely be illegal where I live in the United States.
Is the billboard successful, or more hot air than it’s worth?