Antarctica Flag Revamped to Highlight Microplastics Threat

NGO Agenda Antartica drove the redesign

Microplastics are everywhere. Even in the most pristine places, like Antartica.

Agenda Antartica, an NGO working to preserve the continent and the Southern Ocean, commissioned vexillologist and original flag designer Graham Bartram to give the flag a disturbing update. The previously all-white image of the landmass now contains splashes of pink, blue and grey, representing microplastics found in Antarctica's snow, land and sea.

Bartram stars in a :90 spot, explaining the campaign, which urges viewers to sign a pledge to restrict the flow of plastics into the ocean.

The initiative follows research from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand that revealed the severity of microplastics on the continent.

"Flags are probably one of the most powerful symbols in the world. It's a way for a land to portray itself to the rest of the world and let people clearly visualize what is often very hard to see," says Vini Dalvi, chief creative officer at Publicis Canada, the agency behind the campaign. "That is why we decided to work around the idea of updating the Antarctic flag to help show the world the new reality of the continent. Bartram redesigned the flag, incorporating an average of 29 microplastic particles found in the melted snow. The new Antarctic flag serves as a real-time visualization of what Antarctica looks like now."

The video is running on social media and a dedicated website for people to learn more and sign a pledge supporting a Global Plastics Treaty at the UN.

"This is the first time a flag author redesigned their own work so it can be used as media platform to get people discussing about an important topic like microplastics," Dalvi tells Muse.


Agency: Publicis Toronto
Press Relations: North Strategic
Music: Magma Music Agency
Music Supervision: Michael Bertoldini, Andrea Morelli
Music Production: Seppl Kretz, Marvin Losch
Director: Yan Cucco
Director Assistant: Linda Djelailia
Production: The Pub Productions
Editor: Neal McAuley

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