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Green Marketing Heats Up Cannes Ad Festival

In the three months ending June 14, marketers shelled out a combined $18 million on green-focused TV ads, according to TNS Media Intelligence, USA Today reports. Those kinds of numbers have made eco-marketing a hot topic of discussion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the industry’s biggest global trade and awards show. Here are some green advertising highlights:

South African Nedbank took the Grand Prix in the outdoor ad competition at Cannes this week for its Power to the People billboard. The sign has 10 solar panels, each generating 135 watts of electricity, that are powering the kitchen of a nearby primary school.

GE’s Ecomagination campaign of TV, print and Web executions, by BBDO in New York, will get nearly 100 percent of GE’s corporate ad budget this year. “Ecomagination is a business initiative first and foremost,” says Judy Hu, general manager for corporate advertising. “We aren’t being charitable. We’re doing something that makes good business sense.”

Pepsi is a sponsor for the July 7 Live Earth concerts. Concertgoers who turn in Pepsi containers at stores at the concert venues get credit toward buying recycled products. For instance, at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, people can turn in cans and bottles for a messenger bag made from recycled material.

Lithuanian electronics recycler EMP won a Silver Lion for media planning with a campaign encouraging people to turn in for recycling old electronics sitting unused in attics and garages. EMP worked with Universal McCann to place old TVs on buses, with a message about how much space they waste.

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One thought on “Green Marketing Heats Up Cannes Ad Festival

  1. Green has become the new black for advertising creative professionals and for corporate America. More and more ads now tout hip new “green” products and a growing number of ads associate brands with efforts to address climate change or investments in sustainable supply chain pratices and corporate responsibility.

    In addition, green has become the new gold. Publishers have increased their editorial coverage about the “greening” of business and spawned a bumper crop of new sustainable lifestyle publications, “eco” issues and special advertising supplements that are helping to attract readers and advertisers.

    However, advertisers and publishers publishers will also be expected to do more to walk the talk.

    Creating ads that raise awareness about climate change, tout green products or praise the greening of business are likely to be seen as greenwash if advertisers, ad agencies and publishers do not take steps to address climate change and sustainability in all aspects of their businesses… including the sustainability of their advertising and the impacts attributable to their supply chain influence.

    Investor groups such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (http://www.cdproject.net) are calling on adverisers, publishers printing companies and paper companies to disclose the climate change impacts associated with their supply chain practices.

    In 2005 US advertisers spent over $65 billion dollars on print media advertising and created over 250,000 ad pages in more than 50,000 publications that reach hundreds of millions of consumers annually. These media expenditures create millions of jobs but they also result in a mountain of waste paper that constitutes America’s single largest export by volume.

    (Did you know that the richest woman in China and one of the richest women in the world made her multibillion dollar fortune over the past five years by importing Americas waste paper to China? See: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/15/business/ trash.php )

    A single ad run in a popular consumer magazine can result in tons of greenhuose gasses being emitted when supply chain factors associated with papermaking, printing and logistics as well as landfill disposal or incineration of post-consumer and unsold media are taken into consideration.

    Neither print nor digital media advertising, as currently produced and managed, are sustainable… but they can be if consumers, advertisers, publishers and their supply chain partners work together. Collaboration is essential because print media manufacturing and transportation supply chains are complex, highly fragmented, waste-intensive systems that employ vast quantities of paper, fossil fuel energy and petrochemical products.

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