advertising: emotions & aesthetics

When considering nature as a backdrop, we can emotionally relate in both positive and negative ways; it kind of like the way that psychologists analyze the positive and negative effects of nature on children, and then their associations with nature in adulthood. If there is a negative experience with nature and a company uses nature as a backdrop, you may be less inclined to buy that product because of the emotional triggers that it holds in your mind. Speaking negatively, you would not care to spend your money on a product (or even to a company) that uses nature and green advertising if you had a traumatic experience as a young person.


Positively, green advertisements are mostly aesthetically pleasing and well done. WWF has some of the best green advertising (mostly about endangerment and global warming) but it’s imagery, appeal to emotion, and overall composition definitely leave you impacted. When I researched the best green advertising, WWF had many impactful pieces that left me thinking, “these are incredible, very well done.” I happen to be a person that looks closely at aesthetics along with message and World Wildlife Fund encompasses all of one issue into their advertisements. They really capture what they want to get across the minds of consumers and do it artfully and impactful. The simplicity and minimal use of imagery and distraction is what really makes these adds pop and make you think twice when seeing them.


Product wise, companies like P&G (manufacturers of Tide), launch campaigns rather than billboards. The Tide Coldwater Challenge (2014) challenges consumers to “Give your clothes a brilliant clean while reducing energy consumption.” They basically say that by switching to Coldwater and washing with their product you can save money on energy while giving your clothes a lifetime boost. This switch will essentially reduce CO2 emissions. This pledge was launched and only centered around Earth day; while the pledge would certainly benefit by being extended into the following days, months and years, customers that were entering themselves into this pledge only had to pledge to use Coldwater on the week of Earth Day. What if you don’t need to do laundry on Earth Day? Is committing to cold water as an everyday use such a tough commitment that P&G knew of its inconvenience and only made the pledge a one week thing for that reason?


2 thoughts on “advertising: emotions & aesthetics

  1. This is a very interesting perspective! When someone has a bad experience with nature, even if the image may be a positive image, it does not always make the viewer feel positively about the image. I think that I have a very positive view of nature so, therefore if I were to see an image of nature portrayed in an add, it would persuade me.
    -Traci Alig


  2. The P&G example is rather interesting to think about. It could seem in a way that they might actually care about the environment, but it also seems that it is just trying to tie Tide into the mix of it. Look I’m saving the environment by washing on cold with Tide! Maybe I wash on warm with Tide, am I suddenly going to be ostracized? DO I even have to wash on cold with Tide to be considered doing something for the environment? Why can’t I use something else and wash on cold?

    It just feels like they took Earth Day/Week as a marketing opportunity for Tide rather than out of pure concern for the environment.

    – Josh Obermeyer


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