The 18 Symptoms of “Gang Green” in your Green Marketing

If you’re a green marketer or chief sustainability officer, and you answer “yes” to three or more of the following symptoms in your green marketing, you may be suffering from “Gang Green,” the brand-curdling condition of clichéd anonymity that leads to something worse than death: Irrelevance.

  1. Are the people charged with managing your green brand thinking with originality?
  2. Have you put the word “green” in your name, and if so, do you have the cojones of Greenpeace to back it up?
  3. Has your logo sprouted a leaf?
  4. Do you use the recycling logo as a crutch to prop up uninspired messages?
  5. Have you put mother Earth in an ad?
  6. Does your website look like the eco-equivalent of the Stepford Wives with green grass, blue skies and clouds?
  7. Do you use the term “All natural” to excite your inner hippie?
  8. Be honest, have you committed any degree of “Green Fogging” lately?
  9. Have you adopted children and pretty flowers as your core visuals?
  10. Have you ever even considered using the font Papyrus?
  11. Has any sort of environmental image showed up in cupped hands in your creative?
  12. Do you rely heavily on the color green and its expected cousins, blue and brown?
  13. Has a globe ever appeared in a water drop, even when you’re daydreaming?
  14. Has a sapling ever emerged from a non-sequitur image like gold coins or a pile of coal?
  15. Have you ever used “Green” in a sentence referring to both saving money AND the environment?
  16. Have you ever talked about carbon anything at a cocktail party, church gathering or during sex?
  17. Is a lightbulb an illuminating metaphor to you?
  18. Does the fear of “sameness” haunt you?

With the race by product manufacturers to embrace the new green consumer, they’re taking shortcuts with their brands along the way. Are these marketing clichés in sustainability making “Green” the new “Vanilla”?

Download the Got Green? and 10 Other Brand-Curdling Clichés of Green Marketing? PDF, and see how sustainable your green brand really is.

What clichés have you seen in green marketing? Let us know below.

For some green marketing campaign inspiration, check out 10 Sustainable Brands that Turned Green Marketing Campaigns into Movements