The Juxtaposition of Environmental Advertising Techniques

social-advertisement-powerful-ads-38.jpg“Deforestation And The Air We Breathe: Before It’s Too Late”


This week in class, we talked about the four different types of environmental advertising, nature as a backdrop, green product attributes, green image, ad environmental advocacy. What I find interesting about these three different techniques is the overall purpose that they each have.

Nature as a backdrop as an advertising technique, to me, is the most subtle in regards to the environment. These advertisements include the various commercials we see everyday with different car brands driving through the wilderness, across a mountain, etc, and even the personification of animals, which I realized I never would have considered that attribute a form of environmental advertising before this class. As mentioned in class, this technique is also the least studied of the environmental advertising techniques, and are often taken for granted. At the end of the lecture, Dr. Sastry talked a little bit about the psychological effects of different nature advertisements. When he said that these advertisements seem into our psyche gradually, and thus establish our relationships with nature gradually over time, I think that the nature as a backdrop technique helps greatly to establish a basis for this principle.

For example, we are bombarded with these advertisements depicting humans using nature as they please multiple times a day, and we just see this as normal because it is what we have been socially constructed to do, going back to the principle of anthropocentrism. This exact reason is what makes the nature as a backdrop technique so interesting to me- it’s subtlety simply infiltrates our cultural norms, whereas with the other three techniques, the environment is openly discussed with its ideas of preservationism, conservation, etc. The article listed below shows 42 of the most powerful advertisements, including various environmentally-focused advertisements. Scrolling through them, you can clearly see examples of environmental advocacy due to the fact that they usually rely on such a large shock factor.

It’s interesting to me that these advertisements (environmental advocacy) attempt to juxtapose the nature as a backdrop advertising that we so commonly disregard as environmental advertising. For example, in the advertisement pictured at the beginning of my blog post (number 33 on the list in the link below), it depicts a forest in the shape of human lungs, and then breaks away part of these forest-lungs to help illustrate that deforestation is affecting humans’ breathing issues. Now if you consider the Audi Q5 Mountain Bike commercial we viewed in class in comparison, that commercial is doing just that – destroying part of the environment for human leisure, and adding to pollution with automobile exhaust. I think comparing these two types of advertising is a very interesting concept that we should think about more in our daily lives, when we are exposed to up to 3,000 advertisements each day.

42 Of The Most Powerful Social And Environmental Ads That Will Change The Way You Think

Amanda Hecker


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