Listen to part of a lecture in an advertising class.
Last class someone asked about green marketing.
Green marketing refers to companies promoting the product as environmentally friendly.
Companies often turn to advertising experts to help them do this.
Green marketing seems recent, but advertising professionals grew interest in it several decades ago.
The seeds for green marketing were probably planted in 1970, when the first Earth Day took place.
Rallies all over the United States were organized to protest environmental degradation.
Some 20 million demonstrators participated in that first earth day.
And it helped spark dozens of environmental laws.
The biggest was the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which protects imperiled animal species from extinction.
There was also passage of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act was strengthened.
Earth day, environmental laws, environmental issues in the news, being green was entering the mainstream.
And businesses started saying, hey, we can get involved in this.
So in 1975, a major advertising trade group held its first workshop on ecological marketing.
A few years later, we began seeing ads tapping into people's environmental concerns.
But as some green marketers learned the hard way, green marketing must still involve all the same principles of a traditional marketing campaign.
Your ad must attract attention, stimulate consumer's interest, create a desire for your product, and motivate people to take action, to buy your product.
So let me tell you about one green marketing campaign that failed at first and explain why.
It was for a compact fluorescent light bulb.
We'll call it the eco-light.
It was first introduced, I believe, in the late 90s.
It cost far more than a regular incandescent bulb.
The advertising message was basically, use this eco-light and save the planet.
But that message wasn't effective.
Research shows that consumers don't want to let go of any traditional product attributes, like convenience, price and quality, even though surveys indicate that almost everybody cares about the environment.
So the company reintroduced the eco-light with a new message, one that emphasized cost savings, that the eco-light lowers electric bills and lasts for years.
So it's good for the Earth, cost-effective and convenient because it doesn't have to be changed every few months.
This ad campaign worked like a charm.
Something else, uh, the company that makes the eco-light, researchers would consider it an extreme green company, not only because its products are energy-efficient, but because the company tries to reduce its environmental impact in other ways too.
Like in addition to selling Earth-friendly products, its offices and factories are designed to conserve energy and use all sorts of recycled materials.
A company that only recycles office paper, researchers would classify as a "lean green company".
And there are other degrees of greenness in between.
So if your green marketing strategy's gonna work, your message should be valid on all dimensions.
When a company as a whole is credited for reducing its environmental impact, this can lead to brand loyalty.
People will come back and buy your product more and more.
However, let's say you're fined for violating the Clean Water Act while manufacturing products from recycled materials.
The public would eventually find out.
You can't just make the claim that a product is environmentally friendly and not follow through on.