June 11, 2015
New Yorkers get their “First Taste of the Last Frontier”
Royal Dutch Shell has spent billions on its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. Despite setbacks, in the spring and summer of 2015, they were ramping up operations to go drill in areas made newly accessible by climate change. To counter the negative attention they were getting, we decided to help them out by launching a guerrilla marketing campaign to offer people a taste of the melting Arctic.
A Shell “street team” popped up in New York City to promote the oil giant’s big Arctic launch with a classic street food: hand-shaved ice. But it wasn’t just any ice, this was the last polar ice, shaved from ancient bergs before they’re all gone. A piraguero manning a slick “low rider” shaved-ice cart (actually artist Miguel Luciano) handed out the free red and yellow slushies, offering New Yorkers their “First Taste of the Last Frontier.” Our hot-pants wearing models waved signs advertising Shell’s Arctic drilling program, while we did the public outreach that Shell is too embarrassed to do themselves.
And it worked! Thanks to this action (and, well, thousands of activists worldwide), Shell abandoned their plans to drill in the Arctic in the foreseeable future.