Have you ever been watching TV and a commercial came on talking about how if you use their product you will be making a difference for wildlife or for the environment? Most people would probably agree that they have, because it’s everywhere! It’s almost hard to escape these misleading advertisements.
The commercial that I will always remember is the dawn dish soap commercial where they are washing the little duck. Dawn was able to find a way into my emotions by using wildlife as a benefiter from their product. Although, if we really think about it, is this actually the case? Dawn may make a small contribute to aspects of wildlife but definitely not the type of impact they display on their website, commercials, and all other advertisements. “Save on the brand that helps save wildlife” is an easy way to draw people in, and the baby duck is without a doubt a hook. When the Gulf spill happened Dawn seemed like a good way to “make a difference.” It is important, though, to keep in mind that they only show animals that come in contact with water, but don’t permanently live in it. The Gulf spill affected so many fish, and sea life that Dawn never advertised helping, because in reality they couldn’t, no one could. Their donations aren’t able to clean the ocean, nor is most other products donations. So although they may have a small impact it is us people and companies who must make the change, not rely on misleading advertisement. As Colbert says, “Apparently we just preemptively buy products from eco-unfriendly corporations who then donate some money and detergent to help clean up the next environmental mess we humans are sure to make.” This is true. We rely on company’s advertisements to show us what products we should and shouldn’t use in order to slightly impact our disasters. Greenwashing is real and is hard to see without further research, we must change our actions before disasters, not after.
By: Josie Silvey