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Project Blue: Ditch the Green and “Be True to Blue”

Monday, August 6th, 2007

projectblue.JPGLets stop talking about “going green” for a minute and focus on “going Blue.” Project Blue is a campaign to protect our coastlines and oceans. It is ran by Propaganda in order to raise money for the Surfrider Foundation. I found out about it from ads in the Magazines and went online to find more info. It is a unique approach that at first I didn’t quite get, it seemed like there wasn’t enough being done for something as important as protecting our Oceans. So I sent an email to Propaganda and got some good responses that help shed some light on the project.

5ones: Is it ran by Surfrider Foundation or Propaganda HQ?

Propaganda: Project BLUE is run by Propaganda, this is a commercial initiative and we are using product to raise money for Surfrider Foundation. To make this effort work for everyone involved we set it up as a campaign driven by our brand partners.

5ones: Are you actively seeking partnerships with companies or letting them come to you?
Propaganda: We are seeking partnerships but only in select catogories. O’Neill has just signed on and they will be another great partner to help drive this effort to raise funds for Surfrider Foundation.

5ones: Do you have more companies being announced soon? if so you don’t need to tell us which ones, it just seems like there isn’t a lot of 3rd party company participation when the cause is such a noble one and so close to home.

Propaganda: O’Neill is the newest company to join our group and we may have one more to announce before the end of the year. That quite possibly be the last one at least for a couple of years. All our partners are experiencing positive response and support from retailers and consumers. I think we’ll expand the product offerings within the partnership group before we bring on more partners.

5ones: What is the percent of proceeds donated to protecting the ocean from each sale?

Propaganda: Rather than go with a percentage of sales, we opted for a hard figure of $2 per item. This number, while may seem small, is easily absorbed in the retail price and still keeps the product desirable by consumers and retailers. Plus, the real bang is that the brands have identified volume based products to generate money. For example, the Reef Fanning is the top selling sandal for Reef. Rather than create a new sandal, they felt it better to make a project BLUE Fanning to really make an impact with this effort. And the consumer is sending a message, project BLUE Fanning was the #1 sandal on Swell.com for the month of July. This is a good sign that consumers are looking for ways to get involved with Surfrider Foundation and helping to protect our oceans. Project BLUE is pulling together manufacturers, retailers and consumers to help our environment.

5ones:Anything else you feel we should cover please let us know?

Propaganda:Project BLUE is not about consumerism, its about responsible consumerism. As consumers we have the power to make changes, every little thing helps. Changing light bulbs, recycling and buying products that are environmentally friendly and/or that contribute to helping the environment are part of that change. We can buy a better future.

All in all I am stoked on the idea and I now that I understand their goals I can totally see their game plan. The Fanning sandal has literally become an Icon. Billabong had the best selling boardshort of last year, and Electric, Nixon, Dakine and O’Neill are all perfect partners. I think it is a great idea to create proceeds off of volume and off of already top selling brands and products

The only thing I could find that maybe could be done better is if these partners all had prominent banners with links to info about Project Blue linking users to the site. Billabong, Nixon and all the partners are getting an unbelievable amount of traffic to their sites and it would be cool if they directed some of that to the cause.

See Current Product Line at Be True to Blue or at Swell

And here is more info to where you can get involved

Surfrider Foundation

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O’Neill to Launch ‘Generation Next’

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

o’neill logoO’Neill is preparing to launch a new program called ‘Generation Next’ that will team high school students up with company executives so they can get a better understanding of the career options in the action sports apparel industry. The program will focus on creative elements such as; graphic design, apparel design, marketing, and merchandising. Generation Next is set to launch on August 7th, 2007.

Those lucky enough to be selected for the program will shadow O’Neill executives for a four-week period. They won’t just be observing either; students will get hands-on experience designing apparel, planning events, and creating advertising campaigns.

This will be a huge opportunity for those fortunate few that are selected to be in the program. I wish there was something like this available when I was in high school. Not only would the experience be awesome but making connections with these executives is priceless. Remember kids; it’s not what you know, but who you know and how well you know them.

Those interested in applying will need to send an email with 150 words or less and an image to GenerationNext@ONeillClothing.com by July 20th. The email needs to be titled “Generation Next” and what department you’re interested in learning more about.


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