Models, artists, activists — ‘New Voices’ Mango calls them — Adwoa Aboah, Jolie Allen, Luna Bijl and Sasha Pivovarova join actor Patrick Schwarzenegger in Mango’s Spring/Summer 2019 campaign. Camille Bidault Waddington styles the carefree quartet in images by Alasdair McLellan.
Students Protest For Climate Change
The campaign is lovely, carefree and fun — exactly the retro images of the LA lifestyle that have captivated free spirits for decades. But as I write these words, it’s Friday May 3, 2019 and students are skipping school in 500 cities around the world, hitting the streets in 75 countries and demanding a clean future. They ask “why should we be in school, when we don’t even know if our homes and cities, our families and friends will even be here?”
Millions of grownups, and even more mass market retailers like Mango will brush off their protests as “outrageous disobedience — where are their parents?” While AOC has written about sustainability for a decade, we have not been a leading voice on climate change and won’t assert any real credentials to speak on this topic. #FridaysForFuture
While I can’t profess to have any genuine green credentials — although I try hard — Anne enjoys a superb reputation as a reader of trends. Since AOC was founded in 2007, activism has been central to our mission. AOC has always promoted what were called the rise of Cultural Creative Values and the decline of Modern Values and Traditional Values.
Shopping With Our Values
Modern Values were Wall Street-driven, materialistic values that promoted unfettered consumption patterns, because — after all — humans are in a status-driven race to the top with each other, right? Isn’t our worth driven by how we’re perceived by others? A good woman can never have too many shoes in her closet, a view that in particlar has propelled America’s insatiable appetite for ‘more stuff’.
The Cultural Creatives said ‘no’ — our worth as humans is not driven by the clothes on our back and the square footage of our homes. Our values are different and more humanistic. We see the world as it is. It’s important for a brand like Mango to understand that this carefree LA lifestyle imagery is no more.
California is burning with the worst wildfires in the states history. In Davenport, Iowa today the Mississippi is delivering the worst flooding in 150 years, breaking the earlier records in some states of the 1993 Great Flood. These weather conditions are happening in the Midwest with alarming frequency and increasing intensity. As PHYS.org notes, these floods can (and probably will) impact all of us.
Great Ads Inspire Sustainability Searches
It’s natural then, when AOC has such a strong commitment to Cultural Creative values, that we would run a sustainability inquiry on Mango as part of sharing this full of sunshine and happy young people imagery ad campaign. Only because we don’t feel qualified to comment in detail on Mango and the efforts of other businesses to truly become sustainable, will we write anything but “not impressed” by our search. H&M appears to be making much more progress on this topic, with adidas just blowing others out of the water.
The only other comment we’ll make is that AOC at least understands all the challenges of big retail operations, having worked at the top of the profession. These kids do not. Farmers in the Midwest do not. In the near future, these kids will be running around H&M tracking all the “from market to your closet” history by scanning the tag on the jacket in hand with their phones.
Cool ad campaigns with some of our most important ‘New Voices’ won’t cut it, in terms of brand loyalty going forward. These kids will next search what a brand is doing to save our planet. Consider yourself put on notice by THEM, not only me, that they mean BUSINESS.
If you’re a major global brand, you have been warned. ~ Anne