Keeping the Bay Area Waterways Clean: PSA to Protect SF’s Beaches

Surfrider Foundation Logo


The Surfrider Foundation is a national organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, coasts, and marine life. But while the organization’s goals are the same across all of the communities they serve, their initiatives often differ by regional need.

For this project, we worked directly with Surfrider’s San Francisco chapter to address a specific challenge threatening the Bay Area’s beaches and waterways: cigarette butt pollution.

Surfrider Foundation Logo

The Challenge

Surfrider SF came to us with a campaign tagline in hand—“Hold on to your butts”—which their internal team developed as a way to playfully reach smokers without shaming or pointing fingers. The goal of this campaign was to encourage these smokers to discard their cigarettes in butt cans and pocket ashtrays around the city, rather than tossing them on the ground, to prevent harmful plastics and toxins from entering local storm drains and waterways.

The Strategy

While the tagline and campaign goals were clear, Surfrider SF needed a creative and strategic partner to help develop a uniquely branded look and feel for the initiative, and develop a full suite of creative assets, including a PSA video, to make sure their message would be heard. 

First, we started with three creative concepts, then narrowed it down to one creative direction to produce their official PSA Video.

Surfrider Foundation Logo

Surfrider Foundation Logo

Unexpected ideas, human-centered storytelling, and attention-grabbing designs have the power to not only spark thoughts and emotions but also drive tangible action.

The key is understanding how to utilize each of the elements for the greatest possible impact. Combining strategy and insights into creative campaigns. Crafting concepts and narratives that build connections. Combining color, typography, movement, and messaging to turn information into inspiration. Each one of these components are important on their own—but together, they build the creative ecosystem of ideas, content, and activations that move your mission forward.