Creatives for Climate: Putting climate change at the top of the creative industry’s agenda

In September 2019, we launched the Creatives for Climate initiative, bringing together key stakeholders within the Dutch advertising and marketing industry to hear the demands from Extinction Rebellion (XR) and create a clear plan of action. 

The Creatives for Climate initiative was born out of the first Creatives for Climate Summit, where we brought together over 140 decision-makers to hear from Alex Weller from Patagonia, Mark Aink from Native Circles, Lucy from The Humblebrag and Extinction Rebellion activists.

Using our power as mediators to raise awareness

In the lead up to the event, to put this topic on the nation's agenda, we targeted both local and international media securing coverage in AdWeek, Sustainable Brands, Adformatie, Fonk and Frank News. 

Most importantly, we put this agenda on the top of the community's radar - soliciting 400 RSVPs from agencies and creatives across the city. The Summit led to a collective declaration of a climate emergency by more than 20 agencies, including the ADCN.

The Extinction Agency Concept

Following the Summit, the concept of the “Extinction Agency” was brought to life; a pop-up concept sending briefs from XR to the Creatives for Climate community - resulting in the creation of over 100 executions.

The first brief asked for creative executions around the Climate Strike which saw 35.000 people take to the streets in The Hague. The response was immediate: agencies and independent creatives put their skills to work to create impactful and provocative visuals.

WeTransfer hosted the free artwork database on their homepage - and close to 8.000 people clicked through to download. 

Rallying behind Rebellion Week

The second brief, sent October 1, led to another free database of assets to take the message of the rebellion to the masses. 

The ask was to amplify International Rebellion Week, which saw thousands of activists across 60 cities worldwide create intentional disruption to “business as usual” by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion. In Amsterdam, more than 1000 activists blocked the national museum, the Rijksmuseum and more than 100 arrests were made.

The Rebellion Week assets included Extinction Obituaries for animals and species, images of the Dutch masters in lifejackets, and slogans stating “Sorry #NotSorry For The Inconvenience,” “HONK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DROWN” and “Yes! This will indeed be FLOODY annoying.” 

Over 100 assets were created in total and we secured features of the artwork in The Drum, Muse, LBB and MarComm News. So far, Creatives for Climate coverage has had a global reach of 4.5m with over 17k views.

Ensuring the message stays on the agenda

To circulate the Creatives for Climate mission and calls to action further, we’ve ensured the issue has been at the forefront of key industry events.

We hosted a “room” for two days at the Dutch Festival of Creativity. One day featured XR talks, and a call to action to sign up to Creatives for Climate, and in the second we interviewed Alex Weller from Patagonia and Dinesh Sonak from ADCN. We also brought the topic to the stage at AdNight and OnBrand 2019. 

Creatives for Climate Platform

In the space of just a few months, the energy and impact generated by this new community has been palpable. And this is just the beginning. We have launched a Creatives for Climate platform that can house future briefs and fuel further collaboration within the community. Plus much, much more. 

The industry is slowly, but surely waking up and realising the power - and responsibility - it has in tackling the climate and ecological crisis. This gives us hope but also a drive to continue galvanising this community to respond to the most urgent brief we’ve ever faced: saving planet earth.

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  • 140+ creative leaders brought together at the Summit - which garnered more than 400 RSVPs
  • 22 agencies - including the ADCN - declared a climate emergency
  • Four creative briefs sent, in collaboration with activist groups, to the C4C community
  • Nearly 200 creative executions to drive change
  • Initiative and executions featured in AdWeek, The Drum, Sustainable Brands, Adformatie, Fonk, Frank News, Muse, LBB and MarComm News
  • Generating a global reach of 4.5m with over 17k views

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