In class last week, we discussed how advertisements have a special “cultural power.” Amongst these advertisements, there are many that involve the environment. We learned that there are four main categories when it comes to green advertising. These categories include nature as backdrop, green product attributes, green image, and environmental advocacy. I realized that it is much more common to find nature as backdrop advertisements than it is to find the other three. I found this interesting because it goes to show that consumers care about how things look, but not actually how things are affecting other people, animals, and the environment. I had never really realized this before, but there are so many commercials that take place out in the woods or by the ocean, but most of these companies are doing more harm to the environment than they are any good.
When we were learning about the different types of green advertising, I couldn’t help but think of the 2013 Dawn dish soap commercial. This advertisement involves baby penguins covered in oil from spills, being cleaned up with Dawn dish soap. This type of advertisement falls into the category of environmental advocacy. This is because Dawn promised costumers that profits from the soap will go to help animals affected by oil spills. The 2013 commercial was a huge hit because it made consumers feel a certain type of way that made them sad and feel guilty for the baby animals. This proves that the commercial was a success because as an environmental advocacy commercial, its main goal was to encourage environmental action and advocate a stance on a certain issue, oil spills. I remember when this commercial came out, the first time I saw it it made me feel upset that innocent animals are even affected by oil when they should not be. So, just because a company claims to be environmentally conscious, it is not always true, it really depends on how much effort they put towards actually making a change.