TBWA\Melbourne Created a Colorful Fleet to Welcome Climate Activist Greta Thunberg to NYC

Each of the 17 boats represented a UN Sustainable Development Goal

TBWA\Melbourne helped the UN greet activist Greta Thunberg with branded boats upon her arrival to Manhattan. TBWA\Melbourne
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Greta Thunberg made quite the entrance to New York. After sailing across the Atlantic for two weeks on an emissions-free yacht, the 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden was greeted by both crowds and a fleet of boats when she arrived in Manhattan earlier this week.

Thunberg is visiting New York for the UN Climate Action Summit next month, which explains why the global organization marked her arrival with 17 boats, each representing one of its Sustainable Development Goals (goal #13 is climate action).

The goals, first introduced in 2015, make up the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all,” according to the UN. They address issues including poverty, hunger, gender equality and responsible consumption. The SDG’s, as they are known, are also part of the Cannes Lions, with an award named after them (won by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and Finch Melbourne this year).

The custom boats were brought to life by TBWA\Melbourne with help from a number of partners, including nonprofit Project Everyone, communications firm Freuds and social media agency Sinclair Social. The hope is that they will raise awareness of and support for the UN’s 17 goals.

“Greta Thunberg’s passion and promise to fight climate change presented a powerful platform to create further awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, as we move closer to the 2030 deadline. Whilst progress has been made, few countries are on track to achieve the targets. Australia and America included,” said Kimberlee Wells, CEO of TBWA\Melbourne and Adelaide, in a statement.

Thunberg tweeted about the branded fleet upon her arrival in New York.

@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.