Johnson & Johnson Launches Tumblr Recycling Campaign
Only one in five Americans consistently recycles bathroom items — compared to seven out of 10 who say they always or almost always recycle — according to a report commissioned by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.
To encourage more people to recycle, the company has turned to social media, launching a recycling campaign hosted exclusively on Tumblr, a first of its kind, Johnson & Johnson says.
Care to Recycle includes a video that site visitors are encouraged to share along with posts that include information and tips, showing people what bathroom products are recyclable and encouraging them to recycle these items instead of throwing them in the trash.
Shelton Group, a sustainability-focused advertising and marketing agency, conducted the market research for Johnson & Johnson. The research concluded that recycling in the bathroom is not top of mind for many people. Forty percent of Americans report recycling no bathroom items at all. Among the reasons cited, 22 percent reported they had never thought about recycling in the bathroom and 20 percent didn’t even know that products in the bathroom are recyclable.
All of the Care to Recycle content is shareable within the Tumblr platform, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. The site also includes information and links to the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies’ partners for this campaign including: RecycleBank, where people can earn rewards after learning about recycling; Keep America Beautiful and its America Recycles Day program; Net Impact’s Small Steps, Big Wins, where students compete to earn points for recycling bathroom products and other social and environmental actions; and Earth 911, which provides a recycling locator.
Johnson & Johnson says it will soon print the Care to Recycle icon on its consumer products’ packaging.
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s animated film, “The Scarecrow,” intended to bring attention to its sustainable food sourcing policies, has been viewed more than 7 million times on YouTube since its release last month.
In January, Clorox launched an ad campaign for its Green Works brand with “Desperate Housewives”-inspired digital ads that poke fun at eco-fanatics and attempt to make “eco-friendly people friendly again.”
Despite these examples, many marketers routinely ignore sustainability as an advertising angle, according to an August column in The Guardian by Rainforest Alliance president Tensie Whelan.
Whelan says marketers ignore sustainability at their own peril. A typical argument made by marketing professionals is that surveys show that only around 10 percent to 15 percent of consumers actively seek out sustainable products. Instead, Whelan writes that marketers’ job is to make consumers want a product they think they don’t — and sustainability should not be any different.
Simply having a robust social media platform to communicate a company’s sustainability reporting is not enough, however; firms need to incorporate social media into an overall communications strategy and have top management plug the efforts to boost authenticity, says a June Business of Social Responsibility article by Guy Morgan. Morgan is director of advisory services for BSR, a network of 250 member companies that it works with to promote sustainability.
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