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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.

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Larry Washington

Larry Washington is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

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