By Laurent Martinez
Between the COVID pandemic, wildfires on the West Coast, hurricanes in the South, and other turmoil, we are living through exceptionally difficult times. Our daily lives, whether professional or personal, have changed in fundamental ways—particularly when it comes to in-person events. With all the current restrictions in place, companies have had to be creative to not only promote their brands but the causes they believe in too.
I received an email from Blancpain recently inviting me to attend a virtual event organized by Oceana. With the tagline “Protecting The World’s Oceans,” Oceana, based in Washington, D.C., is the largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.
Although it was only possible to attend the event online, it was clear that Oceana put in the extra effort. I then received from Andrew Handschin, general manager of Blancpain USA, a lovely package with bread, patés, specialty butter, a festive bottle of champagne, and an invitation to enjoy the live event from home.
Then, a link to attend the online “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” and silent auction was sent via email.
While the spirit, excitement, and inspiration of an online occasion cannot compare to an in-person event with hundreds of people sharing the same space, the message of “Protecting our oceans and future” was still conveyed passionately.
The Oceans & Hayek
Blancpain is famously involved with causes focused on saving the ocean, its eco-systems, and its species. At the helm of this involvement is Blancpain CEO, Marc A. Hayek, who is an enthusiastic scuba diver and a vocal advocate of ocean conservation. He has even received several accolades for his efforts.
Blancpain’s connection to marine conservation is further emphasized by having marine scientist, deep diver, and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta as an ambassador of the brand. Blancpain’s Lettres du Brassus magazine frequently publishes Ballesta’s incredible photography and stories as he travels the globe.
The fascination with the ocean is not new to Blancpain. It was the first watchmaker to develop a professional diving watch in the form of the Fifty Fathoms in 1953—beating out the Rolex Submariner as “the first” by a few months. Since then, Blancpain has always had a spiritual affinity with the oceans of the world.
As a result, it was only natural for Blancpain to partner with Oceana, assisting with the organization and publicity of the “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” event. The night’s hosts were Susan and David Rockefeller Jr. while speakers included Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston. The evening also featured performances by Sting, Nile Rodgers, and Chic.
Among all the powerful words that were said that night, the ones that struck me the hardest were “Save the oceans, feed the world. Restoring the ocean could feed one billion people with a healthy seafood meal every day.” Followed up by “Do something.”
These are strong statements, and I invite you to visit www.oceana.org to discover more about the organization’s projects and how you can help.
“Do something” rings true here, no matter the size of the effort—every bit helps, whether spreading awareness or making small contributions.
Once a year in my town, you can go for three hours on a Saturday morning to help clean up the beach by picking up plastic bags, bottles, and other garbage. It’s a fantastic community event where you not only learn about ocean conservation but where you can also meet other like-minded people.
Oceana and Blancpain are big organizations that strive to remind us that preserving the health of our oceans is critical and there is a need to change our habits and attitudes before it’s too late. One person at a time can make a big difference.
I am thankful that I attended this beautiful night, which served to highlight that awareness, creativity, unity and commitment can make a big difference in our lives, our children’s lives, and future generations.