Green Ads: Earth Day 2009

by Mark Feldman

While waiting for spring to arrive in Boston, we are spending too much time watching TV and analyzing the ads.  Here’s a taste of our Earth Day viewing:

Green Stamp of Approval:   Wal-Mart’s “Earth Month Thanks” ad captures the spirit of the anniversary.  Wal-Mart understands the power of mobilizing their 200 million customers and are moving people toward earth friendly products.  The best news is that for Wal-Mart this isn’t just an “Earth Day Special.”  Year-round they are taking a lead on sustainability issues.  They certainly aren’t perfect, but we give them strong marks for making progress and pushing consumers and vendors to action. Check out their earth-related sales promotions and their master sustainability activities on their  website.  Also a January 2009 New York Times article tells the story of their green evolution.

IBM’s “Tree Hugger” Series also gets our green stamp of approval.  Although, we have not seen them in an Earth  Day rotation, they help make the business case.  View them on our recent causenation post — ads worth watching.

Green Washing: The Payless Plant  a Tree Ad  rings hollow.  We have trouble making the connection between shoes, trees and the Nature Conservancy.  “Buy the bag and we’ll plant a tree” most likely will do little for the Payless image, Nature Conservancy Brand, or the environment. That said, the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees Campaign is cool.  Check it out to find ways to get involved.  We’ll be on the lookout for people who are using the Payless bag – we hope they do.

Makes you “Green:” We like this off-beat Timberland “Delirium” ad from the UK. It demonstrates the power of Mother Nature and the importance of doing right by her.  In this case by wearing a pair of Earthkeeper shoes.  This ad is closely aligned with the Timberland brand and product functionality and integrates a bigger environmental message.  When you think about it, we all share a lot in common with the guy on the sinking boat.

 

We are powering down the TV for now, walking to Wal-Mart in our Earthkeepers to buy new CFL light bulbs, and hoping that the wind blows in our favor….

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