The Green Housewives Hit Home

Clorox recently released a new video campaign for its Green Works® cleaning products called The Green Housewives. It’s a spoof of the “Housewives” reality shows and pokes fun at the “status symbol” of being green. Overall, I liked the campaign – it used humor to talk about a serious topic and did so in a provocative way. I was interested in what others thought, so I did a little digging via the Internet.

Not surprisingly, the bloggers who are really into being green didn’t like it at all. Their blogs critiquing the campaign were uncomplimentary at best, and, at times, they were downright harsh. But the articles were nothing compared to the scathing comments from the readers. Many felt the campaign was an inaccurate characterization of those who care about the environment. While the scenarios in the videos are exaggerated and sarcastic, that’s the crux of all good satire. Fortunately for Clorox, I don’t believe the people getting upset are the target audience for this campaign.

There were also blogs from those who didn’t have a green agenda. They were mostly mommy bloggers who covered topics from thrifty spending to healthy eating to child rearing. For the most part, these blogs were much more favorable. Not only did they find the campaign humorous, but they also related to the pressures of trying to be green. The readers of these articles often expressed the fact that they were doing the best they could – but sometimes felt guilty they weren’t doing more.

I only perused about ten sites, but enough to see that the spots appear to be masterfully ingratiating the brand to the mainstream audience most likely to buy Clorox. Those who got angry about the campaign are already on the green train, and, according to our research, would not likely buy a mainstream cleaning brand like Clorox. For those who care about the environment – but find it difficult to make sustainable choices – switching to Clorox Green Works products is a simple, prescriptive step that’s easy to take. And, like all good advertising, the campaign was disruptive. Whether people love it or hate it, they are talking about it. All ads should be so lucky.

About the Author

Brian Kelley

Brian 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 GreenBiz.com.

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