GNC Resets the Sail for David de Rothschild and The Plastiki Voyage & Builds Credibility for Environmental Campaign

The Dare

David de Rothschild retained Glodow Nead to create and execute a global PR campaign for the launch of The Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran made out of post-consumer plastic water bottles. The crew’s mission was to launch in March, 2010 and navigate more than four months and 8,300 nautical miles to a number of ecologically threatened regions to showcase how waste can be used as a resource and how big of an environmental impact waste (in this instance, plastic) has on oceans.

As a member of the famed Rothschild family, de Rothschild was best known for dating Hollywood A-listers. GNC was challenged to establish him and The Plastiki as credible. It was also imperative to shift focus from David’s celebrity to the environmental issue for which The Plastiki was created.

The Scheme

Glodow Nead focused on educating media about The Plastiki team’s development of innovative technology, including a new material and waterproof glue that it used to build a boat made out post-consumer plastic waste. We also shared crew members’ stories highlighting their scientific and environmental expertise. Another key to establishing credibility was to launch a series of lectures by de Rothschild in partnership with San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences, the City of San Francisco, the United Nations Environmental Programme.

Glodow Nead courted science writers early in the campaign, and orchestrated tours for select media to witness the boat’s first stages of construction. Media’s early adoption of The Plastiki story led to ongoing regional, national and international coverage through the now-legendary sea craft’s trial excursions, a high-profile launch event, and ultimate arrival in Sydney, Australia.

The Upshot

The multi-faceted PR campaign resulted in numerous science-related placements in outlets such as the Science Illustrated section of The New York Times and National Geographic. Early highlights included camera crews from NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America and Australian Broadcasting Company in “chase boats” documenting the sea trials, providing stunning visual accompaniment and adding to the buzz and excitement.

Glodow Nead garnered additional global press, securing placements in USA Today (cover story), ABC’s World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News, The New York Times (second story), Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, Metro News International, El Mundo, Discovery Channel,,,, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco magazine, in addition to ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CNN affiliates in the Bay Area.

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