Well, it's been quiet around 86theonions for a while - because they've been busy metamorphing into something else.
The former ad agency has reinvented itself as "a social brand innovations collective, merging ecology and pop culture with products, art, branded content." Hello Ecopop "Ideas too good to waste"! More inside folks -
Chad Rea, 86 the onions’ founder and creative director turned social brand innovator and serial entrepreneur, quietly shut down the agency in March 2007, at the height of its success, to focus on bringing conscious consumerism out of the exclusive fringe and into the accessible mainstream.
The reinvention was largely inspired by the creation of Project Hello (projecthello.org), a zero-budget awareness campaign for the homeless that now spans 30 countries. In 2004, Rea was asked to speak at the Clio’s about the agency’s initiative. Standing in front of the industry’s finest talent, all of whom consider themselves to be creative problem solvers, Rea had his Eureka moment: If everyone in the room devoted their talents to solving problems in the world that truly mattered, we might just solve them.
As Rea explains, “ecopop is the convergence of ecology and pop culture. It was born out of the observation that, if the world was going to change quickly, and on a global scale, “green” would have to be marketed differently, more like the pop culture icons I spent my career creating demand, influence, social currency, and profit for. Our motto: More pop. Less crunch.”
Rea describes his latest venture as a product development, branded content, and consulting collective that specializes in merging capitalism with global responsibility.
ecopop’s mission is to use their creative problem solving talents, pop culture sensibilities, proven intuition, and integrated marketing and new media prowess to solve problems that matter to the world and ensure that constructive brands have the creative tools necessary to compete with leading mainstream brands. And to do this is a way that entertains and embraces people through pop culture.
While ecopop continues to advise visionary entrepreneurs and ambitious enterprises interested in sustainability, Rea says that ecopop is less of a service company and more of an in-house incubator of intellectual property designed to create positive change. There are no full-time employees, no offices, and no standard compensation fees. Instead, ecopop collaborates across all disciplines, creating, marketing, co-owning and often selling their innovative ideas.
The company’s first initiative, ecopop.com, taps into the collective power of creativity to solve problems that matter in the world. It’s an informative, entertaining and inspirational resource of actionable ideas designed to change the way we make and buy things for the better. Rather than regurgitate news and trends from the eco or pop culture media, they translate cultural observations from both sides of the spectrum in a way that marketers, entrepreneurs and consumers can easily understand. They then add actionable ideas that think tanks usually charge big bucks for. Unlike passive media outlets, they then invite the community to build on world-changing ideas for anyone and everyone to use freely.
Other IP currently in development include a fashion accessory brand, 4 computer games, two TV shows, and a Web 2.0 venture.
ecopop has also been working together with MTV Switch.org, FUEL TV, BTC Elements, BeON Living, Live Earth, Alliance for Climate Protection, and others as both an advisor and independent brand innovator.