Last week in class we were given the prompt to evaluate a product advertisement or a news report on its ability to claim that it is actually a “green” product. Many of the advertisements that we see on television fall under the category as a greenwashed product. This is a product that misleads consumers into thinking that the product that they see in the advertisement has some sort of environmental benefit. Yes, these products may appear as though they are doing good for the environment, but that’s typically only because of the way that the commercial is made to appear in front of their target audience. In class, we watched an advertisement for a Dasani water bottle, and how the bottle was meant to be “environmentally friendly” with the use of a new plastic bottle. I came across an advertisement for another water bottle company that uses greenwashing as a prominent technique for selling their water.
The advertisement is for a Fiji water bottle. The advertisement is titled, “Nature’s Gift” and depicts an outline of a Fiji water bottle. Inside the bottle is a slideshow of different nature backdrops, while the background behind the bottle is a slideshow containing different city views. The nature pictures are typically green, while the city is filtered in blue, to make the connection to the audience that our industrial society can still drink clean water. The narrator states that, “Fiji water is a gift from nature to us,” and that it is also, “Earth’s finest water.” These connections with the audience are to inform them that Fiji water is the world’s best water to get on the market. The techniques used here represent a multitude of the “seven sins” of greenwashing.
The idea that Fiji water is the most natural water to buy is a trade-off that is often overlooked. The audience notices that the water is clean and is probably good water to drink, but it was also mass produced and sold buy to millions in plastic water bottles. Just imagine how much oil and other fossil fuels are used in order to make one bottle of “natural” water. Also, there is no proof in the advertisement that Fiji is the world’s cleanest and most natural water. Not only is there no proof, but the claims for the water being all natural and, “bottled at the source.” But the most questionable part of this advertisement (as well as the whole company) is that they claim that Fiji water is the most natural water to buy, yet the corporation does absolutely nothing to further benefit the environment. Their claim that Fiji water is, “A gift from nature to us…to repay our gift of leaving it completely alone….” and that the water has been, “Untouched by man,” is almost irrelevant when they’re mass producing water at ludicrous prices for consumers to buy. Therefore, this Fiji water advertisement falls under a multitude of greenwashing “sins”.
Link for the advertisement: