Sausalito, CA-based Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners are rolling out a new campaign today for Raise the River, “an organization that has been working to bring water to the Colorado River and restore it to the Gulf of California.” The new campaign revolves around a series of videos pitting Robert Redford against Will Ferrell in a mock debate about the proper way to restore the Colorado River. Redford plays the straight man, representing Raise the River, while Ferrell thinks the solution is to “Move the Ocean.”
The campaign begins today with a series of videos, first exclusively on YouTube and Funny or Die, and then on Participant Media’s Pivot Channel on March 22nd. Funny or Die released the first clip today, with a series of videos to be released gradually through April. BSSP’s campaign aims to raise 10 million dollars for the restoration of the Colorado River. Redford explains the problems facing the Colorado River and how Raise the River can help. Will, excuse me, William Ferrell chides “Old Sundance” and argues that the real solution is to “several hundred miles inland,” which will help both the river and American surfers. To add emphasis to Ferrell’s cause, he is joined in one of the videos by surfer, Kelly Slater.
“We saw this idea of a fictitious debate between Mr. Redford and Mr. Ferrell as a novel way to generate greater awareness of the very serious issues facing the Colorado River,” explains Jill Tidman, executive director of the Redford Center. “Bringing a sense of humor to the effort opens the door for a much greater audience and offers everyone a chance to be part of winning this campaign—and this is one we are going to win.”
In addition to the series of videos, BSSP has created websites for both Raise the River and Move the Ocean, as well as “a series of sharable social media clips featuring Ferrell to seed a robust social media initiative.” You can see Redford debate Ferrell in the clips above and below, and stick around after the jump to see Kelly Slater join Ferrell for Move the Ocean.