Earth Day 2011 - A Billion Ads Of Green?

This year’s Earth Day theme is “A Billion Acts of Green,” but it may seem more like a billion ads. Beginning with your morning coffee, you’ll likely encounter special eco-efforts all day long. Environmental Leader shares a brief round-up of promotions, and The Huffington Post highlights “Earth Day Freebies.”

If you’re overwhelmed, you’re not alone. In Cone’s 2011 Green Gap Trend Tracker, 51 percent of Americans said they are overwhelmed by the amount of environmental messages in the marketplace. But that doesn’t mean environmental marketing cannot be effective. To stand out from the green din on Earth Day, and all year, strive to meet these three evergreen rules for environmental marketing:

1. Be a resource – Provide sufficient supporting information to back up environmental claims at point of sale. Seventy-nine percent of consumers want companies to provide information about environmental commitments on the package to help them make informed purchases. And the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions to the Green Guides will soon require it.

2. Be grounded – Tell a story that ensures what the product delivers is what consumers believe. Our research revealed consumers’ interpretations of environmental messages are often not aligned with product realities, which puts companies at risk for consumer backlash. Sixty-seven percent of consumers wish companies would do a better job of helping them understand the environmental terms they use to talk about their products and services.

3. Be realistic – Put environmental claims in a wider context with a humble, “work-in-progress” tone. Consumers value authenticity over perfection when it comes to environmental marketing. Three-quarters of Americans say it’s ok if a company is not environmentally perfect – as long as it is honest about its efforts.

Happy Earth Day!


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