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.
- Are the people charged with managing your green brand thinking with originality?
- Have you put the word “green” in your name, and if so, do you have the cojones of Greenpeace to back it up?
- Has your logo sprouted a leaf?
- Do you use the recycling logo as a crutch to prop up uninspired messages?
- Have you put mother Earth in an ad?
- Does your website look like the eco-equivalent of the Stepford Wives with green grass, blue skies and clouds?
- Do you use the term “All natural” to excite your inner hippie?
- Be honest, have you committed any degree of “Green Fogging” lately?
- Have you adopted children and pretty flowers as your core visuals?
- Have you ever even considered using the font Papyrus?
- Has any sort of environmental image showed up in cupped hands in your creative?
- Do you rely heavily on the color green and its expected cousins, blue and brown?
- Has a globe ever appeared in a water drop, even when you’re daydreaming?
- Has a sapling ever emerged from a non-sequitur image like gold coins or a pile of coal?
- Have you ever used “Green” in a sentence referring to both saving money AND the environment?
- Have you ever talked about carbon anything at a cocktail party, church gathering or during sex?
- Is a lightbulb an illuminating metaphor to you?
- 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
at 8:59 am
This is such a great list, with multiple elements we talk about all the time. Number 3 is our favorite — and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to an ongoing series on our blog we call “Leaf of the Day.”
What’s interesting is that none of these 18 items represents marketing at all. Instead, they represent gestures, mime, cosmetic me-tooism. Thanks for cooking this up and sharing.
at 9:37 am
Greg, love the “Leaf of the Day” feature. Talking about camouflaging a brand. You guys are doing nice work up there in South Dakota.
at 10:49 am
Hey Park –
I saw this commercial for Purina dog food over the weekend and it immediately made me think of this article. Green grass, blue skies, flowers, solar panels, dirty hands planting things…
Also, this logo from the website wins the eco trifecta: green, earth, and leaves:
at 10:50 am
The image was stripped out of my comment, so here is a link to thepage:
at 11:36 am
Thanks, Joe. I’ve come across so many of these kinds of attempts at green marketing that you can appreciate how the industry is quickly coming under fire for green washing AND green fogging.
at 6:32 pm
[…] The 18 symptoms of "Gang Green" in your green marketing […]
at 2:20 am
I like trees, grass, green mangoes and green dollars. I think I’m pretty green.
at 10:43 am
[…] led with my “Got Green? and 10 Other Brand Curdling Clichés of Green Marketing” rant just so the audience understood where I stood on what I see as a profound lack of creative […]
at 7:36 pm
[…] you’re thinking about revamping your green campaign, start by checking this list with 18 green marketing characteristics to avoid at all […]