Sustainable thinking wins the Super Bowl.

Sustainable thinking wins the Super Bowl.

The ads in this year’s Super Bowl ran the gamut – without much of a focus on sustainability or sustainable stories. We did, however, receive the standard bikini and beer, over the top, celebrity-laden fodder that is synonymous with the biggest broadcast event of the year. But even in this year of “same old, same old” there were clear winners like Go Daddy’s “Smart and Sexy” ad (which left the game as the viral king of the night – and left me a bit queasy). Oreo won with “Whisper Fight”, the funniest spot of the night; they also came close to owning the biggest story with a well-timed tweet. The rest of the night was filled with a few near misses and plenty of bombs, per the usual.

But in the second half, the dynamic changed. For two minutes, nachos and beer were ignored and party rooms across the country fell silent. For two minutes, one hundred million viewers were reminded of the strength and soul that makes up the foundation of our country. For two minutes the raw, echoing audio of Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech to the FFA proved there is an inherit strength within a message based on sustainable values.

For two minutes, some of the most powerful messages in sustainability communication carried the night.

Made in the USA, locally grown, a care for the earth and a return to the responsibility owned by our grandparents – those are winning messages in the world of sustainability communication and it’s those messages that resonated and stayed with the American audience on Super Bowl Sunday. And they’re messages that can create a lasting connection with your audience to move them beyond simple loyalty into a deeper, more meaningful place.

This is proof that sustainability is a game changer for businesses and communication. Proof that it should be more than an add-on or something your company feels it “has to” do. Sustainability – communicated through comedy or moving prose –  can carry the load, change your message for the better and give you an emotional advantage over your competition.

If you want impact through your communication and a deeper more meaningful connection with your audience, sustainability can deliver.

Kudos to Dodge for the “Year of the Farmer”, a campaign that shows a brand and a cause working together, using capitalism and sustainability to create a positive outcome.

About the Author

Larry Washington

Larry Washington is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

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Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Aaron Crecy

Digital Marketing Director

Aaron is responsible for planning, executing and measuring digital marketing strategies for Shelton Group and our clients, with an emphasis on inbound, content, SEO, social media, email and paid initiatives. He constantly researches and explores new tactics and strategies to improve digital campaign performance and results.

Aaron brings to the table more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with premium consumer-facing brands. He came to Shelton Group by way of Malibu Boats, where, as Director of Global Marketing, he oversaw strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple product lines, with specific emphasis on social media and digital. Prior to that, he served as CMO for a leading daily fantasy sports operator, guiding it from startup to the industry’s third-ranked site.

Scot Case

Senior Consultant

A sustainability strategy consultant since 1993, Scot has served as non-profit leader, as a partner in an environmental marketing firm that he grew and sold, and as an executive in a multi-billion-dollar, international company. He has published dozens of articles and case studies, was co-author of the original “Sins of Greenwashing” study, testified before Congress, and been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. Scot was also highlighted in an Emmy award-winning documentary on sustainable purchasing.

Casey Ward

VP Account Services

Casey manages our relationships, growth and development with a specific group of clients that includes Environmental Defense Fund, Cotton LEADS and CertainTeed Insulation. She provides leadership and support for the account team members who manage the day-to-day processes for these clients. She contributes to strategic direction for each client and guides our creative efforts to ensure everything we do builds toward meeting – or exceeding – the client’s goals. Her ability to simultaneously see the big picture and pay close attention to the details helps her champion her clients’ needs and identify new growth opportunities for them.