environmentally unfriendly

Whether they’re hiking or biking or just tooling around in their SUVs, it’s clear by now that folks in Portland, Ore., tend to favor the outdoors.

This, of course, is bad news for local merchants, particularly those in the downtown area.

But now the retailers are fighting back. A new campaign from local shop JohnsonSheen takes aim at the Great Outdoors and urges people to “Get away from getting away from it all.”

“We just wanted to show that the outdoors is not always that glamourous and that downtown Portland has become a fun, hip place,” explained agency principal Pat Johnson. “We are trying to provide the emotional glue for the shops downtown.”

As such, the three-year, $3.6 million campaign, commissioned by the Association for Portland Progress, pokes fun at outdoor activities. Print ads show people shiver ing outdoors with thought balloons that say things like “I can’t feel my face” and “I’d rather be eating a nice juicy steak.”

The tagline is, “I’d rather be downtown.”

“It’s not like this is Bumpkin, Oregon,” said Johnson. “There is a real vibrant city life in Port land, and we wanted to remind people of that.”