The Yes Men | Polar Pals
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Polar Pals

Reveal Date

August 21, 2013



Gazprom, Shell

The Gazprom/Shell Polar Partnership


In 2012, Royal Dutch Shell failed to drill a single hole in the Arctic off the coast of Alaska thanks to a series of dangerous blunders and mismanagement that led to the government calling the company “screwed up.” This year, they trained their sights on the much less regulated waters off the coast of Russia, teaming up oil giant Gazprom, to open up the newly accessible Russian Arctic to drilling.


Greenpeace didn’t think enough people were paying attention to this, so they teamed up with the Yes Lab to create a spectacle in Amsterdam that would get people talking.


On August 21st, a barge filled with Russian and Dutch officials, a marching band, a child singer, and a giant cage containing what appeared to be a drugged up polar bear, wound its way through the canals of Amsterdam to the city’s zoo. Gazprom held a ceremony presenting the bear to the city as a gesture of goodwill, launching the Polar Partners initiative, including an interactive website.


The promotional video of the event immediately went viral, with high-profile Twitterers like Pamela Anderson, Adam McKay, Occupy Wall Street, and tweeting their outrage.


Selected Press:


Watch the Gazprom News video here.

Read the press release here.

Read the reveal here.