JIMBO NEEDS AN EDUCATION
As a designer, marketer, or advertiser, we’re sure you know how hard itis to come up with an effective promotional campaign or brand identity.It’s even harder when your client, who makes a great environmentallyfriendly product or service, wants to use words or images in themessaging that has negative connotations they don’t even realize.Let’s say your client, who we’ll call “Jimbo,” just walked into yourofce with a big idea for a campaign. Jimbo is holding a crayon drawingof owers, trees, and his product. The drawing was made by his three yearold daughter and Jimbo is hellbent on using it with a headline that states
“Jimbo’s Green Gizmo’s, the best eco-friendly sustainable Gizmo’s Going!”
So what do you do?
First, patiently sit Jimbo down and, in a calm voice educate him on thecurrent state of green marketing. Tell them that he needs to steer clearof communications that utilize buzz words which have been co-opted anddestroyed by greenwashing.
Make a client aware that most consumers react either negativelyor are unresponsive to the words: GREEN, SUSTAINABLE, or wordsthat begin with ECO- and EARTH-.Consumers are also becoming inured to images of trees, owers,and child-like drawings when used in the context of brandcommunications
After you tell this to your client, Jimbo will either: A) Be offended byyour audacity at suggesting his daughter’s work isn’t on par with a MiltGlaser drawing and then he’ll charge out of your ofce, or B) Jimbo willfeel a bit weak in the knees from seeing his grand ideas of eco-championgo up in smoke, and then he’ll come to his senses.But not to worry, take Jimbo for a nice cup of java. Then put his fearsto rest by telling him it’s OK, you have some solutions that will helphis company retain its environmental branding. Plus if he listens closelyhe could possibly also increase his customer base and loyalty in otherareas that he hasn’t even thought of.