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The Color of Money

August 14, 2009  

As environmental awareness continues to rise, the average consumer has become more conscious of the need to make greener choices.

A post at the Osocio blog highlights a satirical cartoon from Lunchbreath that skewers marketers who respond to the trend with disingenuous, "greenwashed" packaging that relies on elements like this:

  • Sans serif type
  • Earth tones
  • Emotional messaging (e.g., "You're a goddamn hero!")
  • Unbleached paper
  • Green symbols (e.g., the recycling icon)

Nor does the Lunchbreath cartoon let hypocritical consumers off the hook. Such packaging, it notes tongue-in-cheek, also comes with two key benefits:

  • Customers can feel progressive without actually changing their habits.
  • Thanks to the earth tones, litter doesn't appear so obvious.

The cartoon points to a growing cynicism among proponents of eco-friendly policies: fake green marketing for fake green customers has made them suspicious of any claim to actual green credentials. "According to [a] poll on Treehugger," notes the Osocio blog, "67% of you vote that companies using 'sustainable' in their marketing are not to be trusted."

Your Marketing Inspiration: Have ready evidence to support your green-oriented marketing and—even then—be prepared for potential backlash from true believers.

More Inspiration:
Beth Harte: All Marketers Are Not Created Equal
CK: Marketers, Your Data Awaits
Paul Williams: The Best Brainstorming:
Nine Ways to Be a Great Participant


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  • by Browe Fri Aug 14, 2009 via web

    So true. As usual, marketers in general think they can tell their customers anything. They so often take a decent concept and completely overuse and beat it to death until it becomes a meaningless cliche, e.g., low carb, solutions, surfing/sky diving seniors...

  • by L Martin Fri Aug 14, 2009 via web

    I can't believe I read a "professional" article on marketing and am assaulted with having to read the word, "g**d***.' That word is FILTHY and the fact that the writer used it so casually in a professional situation is despicable. Who wrote this article and why was he/she allowed to publish it that way?? THAT WORD is NOT appropriate and should not be used in ANY professional article. PERIOD.

  • by Richard Sat Aug 15, 2009 via web

    Having been a biologist following environmental issues for forty years, I can say in full confidence that Environmentalism is the New Big Lie.

    At the turn of the twentieth century the Big Lie was Socialism/Communism. That idea is now intellectually bankrupt, but it took a number of decades to become so. Now, hopefully more quickly, the scientific and moral bankruptcy of the Environmentalists is becoming increasingly apparent. Their changing "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" is a perfect example of Orwellian doublespeak: Śnow they can blame mankind whether Global temps rise or fall.

    CO2 levels used to exceed 5% in the days of dinosaurs, but now scaremongers are making issue of a rise from .027% to .034%!! If average temperatures rise by four degrees Fahrenheit, those concerned need only move perhaps 400 km towards the poles to experience their 'home' climate. There is no rush. The change will take decades.

    A quick look at geological temps shows that in this Era, the Earth has been cooler than during most of its past. We know the Medieval Warming was warmer than today (and glaciers melted etc.) all without Industry.

    If oceans were to rise at all, it would take 100+ years... this is no sudden catastrophe that men facing it could not adjust to. Driving safely, not smoking, & maintaining a good diet is much much more important.

    There is in excess of 7 trillion barrels of oil under or off the coast of the N.American continent. This is more than enough for the next 150 yrs, by which time nuclear fusion, and hopefully fission, should make electricity so cheap that it will largely replace petroleum for heat or transportation purposes. This is only true if the Environmentalist Stranglehold on such resources can be broken. It will NOT be broken if marketers and business owners continue to fall prey to the Environmentalists' nonsense. There is no reason for the government to compel manufacturers to reduce their Carbon Footprint, other than that it gives bureaucrats and politicians enormously more power over your lives, and the lives of the businessmen who hire you.

    The "Lungs of the Earth" are neither the Tropical Jungles nor the Boreal Forests. They are the top, sunlit, 200m of the Oceans, where photosynthesizing plankton use CO2 and release O2.

    The Antarctic Ozone hole has been opening and closing (in winter) for centuries. It fluctuates because in cold weather the more stable O2 molecule becomes more common. The fluctuation they call a hole is a 35% reduction, yet 30% reductions occur all over the world as wind currents break up the layer.

    Garbage disposal is no issue. If all the garbage of the US (growing population and all) was put into unused land in the state of Iowa, it would take 500 years for to significantly affect the lives of Iowans. (Unfortunately I can no longer source this one.)

    If politics (warlords etc) got out of the way of Capitalist Agriculture the Earth could feed many times its present 6 billion human occupants.

    Leading, often angry or urgent, environmentalists do not love the planet so much as they want to see people wiped off its surface. These environmentalists are misanthropic watermelons (green on the outside, pink socialists on the inside).

  • by Debbie Tue Aug 18, 2009 via web

    Provocative article. It obviously stirred some thought.

    Wonderful, funny comments by Richard. Even if what he says is not totally accurate, one is compelled to believe his apparent expertise simply due to the commitment with which he writes.

    And, L Martin should pull his/her head out of the sand. Such irrelevance.

  • by Richard Tue Aug 18, 2009 via web

    I am glad Debbie liked my comments. My numbers may not be accurate in the sense of precise numbers, but both my numbers and conclusion ARE accurate as to the scientific and moral irrelevance of Environmentalism, and its misanthropic leadership.

    Recently Australia's government rejected cap and trade carbon controls. You can learn about why at the URL below (copied and paste it into your browser's address bar): http://tinyurl.com/peljwk

    There are thousands of other sites providing definitive, scientifically sound, arguments against the Environmentalist Science. One need not know all the arguments if one can recognize facts and arguments that are so fundamental, and that so supersede all others that the latter can safely be given short shrift.

    For example, observe these plots of global temperatures over geological history.

    http://tinyurl.com/pozngp - temps only

    http://tinyurl.com/p692ur - this one includes CO2 levels

    There is no possible way that the Earth is at risk even if the worst claims of the Anthropogenic Global Warmers came true. Earth spent eons with higher temperatures, or had high CO2 levels during glacial periods. It is intellectually inescapable that mankind's role in climate change is trivial, and that imposition of 'green' policies will have no influence on climate.

    'Green' policies will only 1) create unnecessary economic hardship, especially for the poor, and 2) concentrates even more power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, thereby further undermining the Individual Rights and Freedoms on which every man's life depends.

  • by Scott Tue Aug 18, 2009 via web

    A healthy dose of cynicism is good for all. It keeps us honest and on out toes. However, I don't agree with those who rush to lambast every single company that "green washes" it's products or services. True, the steps they take may be minor compared to the damage they cause the environment, but it is a step forward. It reminds me of people who complain about celebrities who donate large sums to charity for publicity purposes. Do you think the people who benefit from these donations give a "g**d*** (for you L. Martin) that the celeb's real motivation was a cover story. Dig deep enough and you'll find that everyone's motivation for everything they do is selfish. However, if some good comes from it, that's a plus we should appreciate.

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