Farewell to another successful Earth Day. April 22 has come and gone, leaving in its wake a plethora of ad campaigns, promotions and events. Many were razor sharp and entertaining (see Burt’s Bees above) while others felt like sitting through an all-day lecture on mold growth.
While I was siphoning through the piles of earth day communications, a question popped into my head. Was it worth it? For the Burt’s Bees and Methods of the world, an Earth Day campaign is table stakes – but what about companies with sustainability initiatives that aren’t at the core of their businesses?
For any company looking to make a splash with a new green product or initiative, Earth Day would seem like a tailor-made time to launch. Well, it used to be, before every company on earth jumped on the sustainable bandwagon. Now, any message launched on Earth Day stands a very good chance of being buried under all the noise. Just doing a simple Google search will show you the amount of ad-like objects that all premiered on Earth Day. For a sustainable ad geek like me, it’s awesome. But not so much for a company spending its hard-earned money, hoping to get noticed and talked about.
For a company that truly wishes to achieve some recognition for a sustainability campaign, it’s a good idea to find a less noisy spot to play. The best efforts begin long before April 22 and use the Earth Day mania as more of a climax than a launch. If you allow interest to build beforehand, your target is more likely to dig through the piles of communications themselves, seeking out something they already have a relationship with. Plus, it will make your effort seem less like a “me too” strategy to your target audience.
Earth Day is one of the great Sirens of communication and promotion. Approach it the right way or be seduced into what could be a waste of time and money.