Last week in class we discussed the effects and psychology of various types of green ads
Everyday we are blasted with thousands of advertisements in the form of logos and jingles, some of these are green ads designed to manipulate consumer habits towards products they feel are in some way better for the earth. What actually surprised me in class was how prevalent and effective environment as iconography is. One such type of these green ads is “Nature as a Backdrop” where there does not even have to be a specific claim, but could feature a grand view of some lush wilderness with some iconic animal in the background along with some company’s food product which makes a thin connection between the two phenomena (like in the video at the top). These types of ads are ridiculous in that they attempt to evoke some sort of arrogant feeling from the consumer, making them think that they have in some way helped the environment when in fact they have not. Green ads have changed America’s environmental culture into a state of sloth where we believe that consumption of any product with a green label is equivalent to conserving natural resources.
Green ads have replaced the onus of mainstream environmentalism from planting trees and captain planet-esque solutions to consuming products that we know are polluting the earth. Bottled water is one of the worst offenders of the green ads since they not only package and sell a natural resource at 2000x its worth, but it contributes millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through manufacture and distribution. Green ads for bottled water have even changed our culture’s attitudes on water to an extent; we are more comfortable drinking a bottle of expensive water that may have had certain chemicals leach in from the plastic container than we are drinking water from the tap which is by far the healthiest in the world.