The New York Times ran a on the sustainability of green marketing, agreeing with the August 7th, “Greening Your Pitch” webcast consensus, highlighted in our PRWeek recap, that consumers are more interested in the effectiveness of the product than in the green component.
…when shoppers walk through the aisles, choosing the brands that end up in their shopping carts, they are still far more interested in factors like price, functionality and even packaging than they are in the producer’s environmental record, said Bart Becht, chief executive of the consumer products company Reckitt Benckiser, during a recent meeting with reporters in London.
However, the story goes on to provide an example where Reckitt, owner of Lysol and Woolite, attempts the opposite, focusing its consumer advertising efforts on a green message, that consumers could save a water and energy use by using a dishwasher rather than doing the work by hand, “citing research conducted at the University of Bonn, which compared the water and energy consumption of people from several European countries who washed dishes by hand with the quantities used in modern dishwashers, the company said the machines won, hands down.” The company claims that the approach is not “greenwash.”
An ad now appearing on television in Germany tells consumers that they could reduce their water use 85 percent by using a dishwasher. That is 700 million bathtubs full of water a year across Germany, according to the ad, created by the agency Euro RSCG, which is part of Havas.
Referring to one of its European brand dishwashing products, it said: “So Calgonit is not only good for your dishes but for our future, too. Be a part of it.”
“There are a lot of high-level messages out there, but very few that zero in to this level,” said Pete Zillig, a brand director at Euro RSCG.
While many marketers prefer to advertise their company’s green efforts, rather than ask consumers to adopt the initiatives, according to the Times, certain brands may have the potential to help the environment and effectively turn a profit.