Archive for the ‘Green Behavior’ Category

April 20th, 2010

Green Marketing: Be Careful What You Wish For

By Kyle Morich

Ad Age had an interesting article yesterday about a shift in Earth Day advertising this year.  Take a second to look it over: Marketers Blame the Consumer in New Save-the-Planet Pitches.  A quick excerpt, in case you are busy:

“The focus of most green advertising has primarily centered on marketers’ own products and process changes to reduce waste and environmental impact. But a growing number of marketers are shifting the focus toward consumer behavior, either in their sustainability PR efforts, their advertising or both.”

Unilever’s latest sustainability report stated that 70% of their environmental impact comes from its consumer’s use and disposal of their products.  P&G is asking its consumers to lower their use of hot water, which is reportedly the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the life cycle of P&G products.  Of course, they also offer Tide Coldwater as the perfect solution for this quandary.

We talk a lot about the role context plays in behavior; more specifically, that there are three layers of context that play a determinative role in consumer habits.

  1. The Meta-Context – an overarching perception of a particular behavior
  2. The Contextual Event – a situation-specific behavior
  3. The Sub-Context – influencing vectors that impact behavior

Sub-Context is one of the more fascinating components of context because of its fluidity.  Consumers create rules, heuristics, and choices that align with their personal sub-context vectors.  As sustainability and environment-friendly messages continue to permeate the advertising landscape, we have begun to see a “Green” vector emerge.  A consumer may create a rule where she only buys recyclable packaging, or, as P&G hopes she will, only use products that work with cold water.


March 31st, 2010

It’s Tough Being Green

By Neale Martin

We are all lifetime citizens of Earth, and as such we all play a role in keeping the planet habitable. But our best intentions often go astray or count for naught. The reusable grocery bags stay in the car forgotten until we get in the checkout lane. We buy high efficiency light bulbs but forget to turn them off when we leave the house. Worse, there is so much conflicting information. The clarity of the ecology movement has given way to the highly politicized and amorphous Green movement.

During the early days of the ecology movement, it was easy to do the right thing. First off, don’t litter. Second, tell your parents and other older relatives not to litter. Then plant a tree. The big stuff seemed pretty much out of our individual hands. We supported legislation like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. When recycling became available, we separated out our paper, cans and glass.

Things aren’t so easy now.