CleanTech Green Marketing Strategy

Published on October 26th, 2011 | by Jennifer Kaplan

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Top 10 Green Marketing Campaigns

Green-Marketing-StrategyI was recently asked for a list of top-ten green marketing campaigns so here is mine in chronological order. Some were created for large companies and some for small companies, but they all share in their innovation and how they changed the conversation about how to market green.

Top-Ten Green Marketing Campaigns

  1. Tide Coldwater Challenge: This landmark marketing campaign addressed the money saved by washing in cold water and the product’s deep cleaning and whitening abilities making green the ancillary benefit. The far-reaching campaign included national advertising, in-store programs, product sampling, a strong Internet presence, consumer promotions and strategic alliances. (2005)
  2. Jamie Oliver: Jamie Oliver, the outspoken English Chef and healthy food advocate, is a brand in an unto himself; he uses “disruptive media and public visibility” to communicate and motivate, creating a new kind of “infotainment.” (2006)
  3. Diesel Clothing “Global Warming Ready”: In print ads promoting its 2007 spring/summer collection, the Italian-based clothing company depicted landscapes transformed by environmental disaster, thus proving that green marketing and tongue in cheek humor, when done well, resonate with young audiences. (2007)
  4. GE EcoImagination: A massive multi-medium campaign for EcoImagination established GE’s green position in a competitive marketplace where credibility and believability were paramount to success. The resulting creative was simple, beautiful and compelling and delivered the message in engaging ways. (2008)
  5. HSBC “No Small Change”: A highly successful campaign elevated HSBC’s environmental credentials and consolidated their environmental leadership position; it exceeded all expectations without TV or radio. (2008)
  6. TOMS Shoes “Project Holiday”: For the month leading up to Christmas 2008, TOMS promoted their Project Holiday campaign to sell 30,000 pairs of shoes, so they could give the same number of protective rubber shoes to kids in Ethiopia. By the end of the campaign, they exceed their goal by 23% and raised unprecedented awareness for their cause ­– all without paid media. (2008)
  7. Toyota Prius “Harmony”: a fully integrated multi-medium campaign that showed how the Prius delivers extra power, space, safety, advanced technology and superior gas mileage. (2009)
  8. Timberland “Earthkeepers”: A global campaign showcasing the Earthkeepers collection of eco-friendly apparel that includes TV, print and retail ads, as well as social media and a microsite that uses 3D technology. (2009)
  9. Method “Just Say No To Jugs”: A cheeky campaign typical of Method’s marketing mocks mainstream cleaning products products as feeding a household’s “jug” habit. The campaign relied only on print and online ads. (2010)
  10. BMW Diesel “Ch-ch-changes”: A winning campaign launched at Superbowl XLV that communicated valuable information and a relevant message to the American audience about the environmental benefits and ch-ch-changes in diesel technology.  (2011)
That’s my list. Got any cool, green and effective campaigns to add? We would love to hear from you!
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[Image Credit: Green Marketing Photo]



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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for EatDrinkBetter.com and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .



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  • anam

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  • Erika S

    What is your opinion on the production of the Toyota Prius emitting more greenhouse gas and more CO2 than any other car production? Especially the Toyota Prius 1 is known to be the most polluting car in its production, which is not outweighed by its use.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/pambani/ Priti Ambani

      Thanks Erica. The 2007 study you are probably citing has been debunked on many counts. There has been continuous improvements on the car and almost zero emissions through its ‘on the road’ life has helped negate the hi-intensity production. I am sure we will agree it is on the right path.

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  • http://verdemarketingnw.com Andre

    Whole foods has continually produced great green marketing campaigns.

  • http://leapingotter.com Nancy Roberts

    I show the Diesel “Global Warming Ready” campaign to my Green Marketing students (early career professionals from around the world.) They are almost universally horrified by it and do not find it to be “green” at all. Do you have any statistics on the effects or success of this campaign? Thanks.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/jkaplan/ Jennifer Kaplan

      Thanks for the comment Nancy. Before I answer your question about the efficacy of the campaign I want to address your underlying premise that the campaign is “not ‘green’ at all.” The Diesel campaign ran in 2007 and needs to be looked at in historical context. This was a time when the media, and therefore public perception, was still understating the strength of scientific consensus on climate change. The Diesel campaign was significant because it 1) was an awareness building campaign(clearly its not selling “green” clothing) and 2) it reached a virtually impossible demographic to reach via traditional media and advertising. Additionally, Diesel was making a deliberate and provocative political branding statement that can not be overlooked. For these reasons I contend that the campaign represents a significant milestone in green marketing history. It reached an important demographic with messaging that resonated with them. A post on theinspirationroom.com noted at the time, that Diesel said that the “Global Warming Ready” campaign was consistent with their tradition of generating attention and provoking discussion of serious societal issues with a tongue-in-cheek ironic voice. That was deliberate positioning. And, as you know, young people tend not to respond to heavy handed, know-it-all, wonky marketing messages. The theinspirationroom.com post is worth a read to see why the campaign was a good example of green marketing: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2007/diesel-global-warming-ready/

      As for the efficacy of the ads, as a marketing professional, you know that correlating the social impact of an awareness campaign, not to mention sales of products, with print campaigns is elusive at best. We do know that the campaign was quite controversial (some, like you, felt it was an ill-conceived approach), but regardless, it received ten-fold in unearned media above the media buys. And, the campaign did win a Silver Lion for Print at Cannes International Advertising Festival in 2007.

      So, I’m not surprised that today’s students find the campaign disturbing. By today’s standards it may seem trite and supercilious. We probably know too much about the real effects of climate change so that we no longer find these images tounge-in-check. But, I see a real teaching opportunity here. Sometimes in marketing the there are many paths and many audiences. You can’t be all things to all people.

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