Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A lot can happen in two weeks.

Wow. See what happens? You go on vacation and the whole world goes good. Or at least it seems like it. Here’s a re-cap, for you trendwatchers out there:


Maybe I’m late to the game on this one, but I just heard about this offshoot agency. They say, “The world isn’t waiting for a sustainable future. We’re creating one. Now.” They’re all about helping companies tell their green-ification story, from Qantas Airlines to TetraPak, to the Environmental Defense Fund, even (gasp!) DuPont chemical. Green it up, fellas.

Timberland has a program called Earthkeepers (launched in 2008?! Wow, I’m behind). Since Timberland likes the outdoors (and make shoes that’ll get you there), they made a shoe that’s easier on the earth. And they’re planting trees. People like that. In fact, Earthkeepers now has over 866,000 “likers” on Facebook. (By comparison, Outside magazine has only 675,000 subscribers.)

Timberland Earthkeepers.
It's not just a shoe. It's a movement. (Agency: Cone. I think.)

Proctor & Gamble.
Maybe you've heard of them. Well, the Cincinnati news reports, “Less will soon be more in the laundry room when the nation’s largest seller of detergent shrinks its powder varieties and cuts the size of its packaging by a third. … For a company the size of P&G, the change could have big environmental and cost-saving benefits. P&G said the smaller packages will require 6,000 fewer truckloads to ship detergent, saving 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year.” (A move that Unilever pioneered in 2005.)

And all it cost them was some precious, precious shelf space. That’s taking it on the chin for the greater good. Kudos, soap guys.

And speaking of Unilever ...

Unilever likes Gorillas.
The Wall Street Journal says, “Unilever, which uses palm oil in products as diverse as Dove soap, Vaseline lotion and Magnum ice cream, will announce today that it is making a multimillion-dollar investment in Solazyme, a company that harvests algal oil. It's a green alternative that can power airplanes as well, Paul Sonne reports.

Environmentalists say that harvesting palm oil has contributed to deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia and damaged orangutan habitats.”
(As you know, Kit Kat caught the wrath of Greenpeace for their palm oil use/gorilla hating, and it cost them a pretty penny to make amends, and change.)

Scott Tissue saves water.
As seen in Ad Age, “Kimberly-Clark is rolling out a green-themed promotion backing Scott Naturals brand toilet tissue that includes a giveaway of 750,000 Scott SmartFlush toilet-tank inserts. The devices purportedly save a typical family 2,000 gallons of water a year and can last a decade. 

"It helps drive awareness of the Scott brand, but more importantly, about what we feel is the next looming resource threat," says Doug Daniels, brand manager of strategy and innovation for Scott. Here’s the whole article: http://adage.com/article?article_id=145725

Okay. Deep breath. We’re not done yet.

Green Beans Coffee.
It's the little coffee company the US military loves. They’re letting customers donate to send the troops some decent coffee overseas. Pretty cool.

Liberty Mutual ponies up for the “Million Dollar Game.”
NYSportsJournalism.com says,
”A major player on the college football scene with its Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the insurance company is dangling upward of a $1 million charitable donation to two competing teams who complete a game without one penalty being called.”

Finding a strategic cause for a financial brand is tricky, mainly because money has kind of a universal strategy. Everybody could use some. But I think supporting “good sportsmanship” is a really strategic message for any financial company these days. Well done.

Moms and Millenials love the Good.
Here’s a nice little interview with an EVP from Cone (again!), about the brands that are really resonating in a lasting way. Some nice Pepsi Refresh commentary here too. (Article.)

Oh, and last night I saw a TV spot – um, on TV – for the Brita water filter. Very cool spot, showing plastic bottles flowing out into the water system of rivers, etc. (I can’t find it online to share, sorry.) But it ends with a link to their program, Filter for Good.

Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did, so please let me know.

Repeat after me: “this is the age of the enlightened consumer.”

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