'Free Solo' director narrates this voter drive that's also an ode to America's natural wonders

McKinney L.A. creates an inclusive call to action for the 'Outdoor State'

Published On
Sep 02, 2020

Editor's Pick

Ask any European what they like about the United States and their answer—at least these days—will always be about the great outdoors. Love of the natural wonders and wide open spaces of this country are one of the few things people on every side of our fractured political divides can agree on.

Climate change education and outdoor advocacy nonprofit Protect Our Winters is using that love as a rallying cry in a new campaign that call for people to vote in November’s presidential election. “Common Ground,” a short film from McKinney L.A., doesn’t advocate for a specific candidate or party. Instead, it focuses on the commonalities of a particular constituency, what it calls the “Outdoor State,” a collective of everyone who cares about nature, the environment or outdoor sports.

Narrated by Jimmy Chin, the mountain climber and Oscar-winner who produced and directed “Free Solo” with his wife Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, the film is unabashed in casting a wide net, appealing to Indigenous people, LGBTQ people, descendants of enslaved people and immigrants both newly arrived and just a few generations removed from Ellis Island—all of whom have a stake in keeping air, the water and the soil clean and pristine for generations to come. It features athletes, like rock climbers and mountaineers Tommy Caldwell and Conrad Anker.

The spot directs viewers to MakeaDamnPlan.org, an online voter guide that walks visitors through tasks like requesting an absentee ballot and finding their polling place. It also kicks off POW’s larger “If You Love the Land, Make a Plan” campaign, which rolls out between now and Election Day. It will include calls to send in absentee ballots early and—for those voting in person—to literally run to the polls to cast a ballot.

Outdoor recreation brands including Columbia, Skullcandy, Burton, Sierra Nevada and Strava will also amplify the campaign.


Sep 02, 2020
Managing Director :
Sylvain Tron
Account Director :
Claire Fallon
Group Creative Director :
Andy Pearson
Client :
Protect Our Winters
Agency :
McKinney LA
Chief Creative Officer :
Jonathan Cude
Head of Art & Design :
Will Dean
Art Director :
Jacq Quinton
Copywriter :
Cooper Bowman
Copywriter :
Parth Raval
Senior Designer :
Carlos Ortega
Designer :
Sophia Greif
Senior Editor :
Jeff Sharpe
Editor :
Chris Vennemeyer
Motion Designer :
Xavier Baldwin
Content Creator :
Matt Johnson
Social Strategist :
Renee Montpetit
Senior Producer :
Kate Rauber
Senior Integrated Producer :
Kara O’Halloran
Project Manager :
Claire Skillin

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