Sunday, 1 November 2009

Green Is Green

I was taking an early morning swim yesterday. It's a good time for me to think, and as ever when I'm surrounded by the sun, the sea and the sand I'm reminded how beautiful nature is and that we're really confronted by a logic bomb when considering how the system we all conspire to take part in, points at the asymmetry of global finite resources and our wasteful production (most products don't exist within six months of their manufacture) and of course our decadent disposable lifestyles. There's a way out of this and advertising or communications has a powerful and wealth creating role to contribute towards a virtuous solution but I've written about that extensively elsewhere (and here) although intend to probably recap on some of John Grant's The Green Marketing Manifesto at some point because many of those issues were thrashed out then.

In any case, I can quickly highlight that the behavioural changes required to make a sustainable lifestyle are largely a marketing problem and where there's a marketing problem there's a business solution if supply side economics are given the credence we already do.

Anyway I was dipping a few toes into the sea and I suddenly recalled that JWT's future trends watcher Marian Salzman was predicting back in 1988 that Blue was the new Green. That we'd be seeing the environment issue as a blue one where it was once green. A lot of us didn't like it at the time because many people from the consumption classes (I use that term deliberately) are still confused as to the extent of change needed and the last thing the communication classes should be doing is confusing them with bogus rebranding efforts. Anyway, Marian was wrong as most future trend watchers are. I've enjoyed some of her work in the past but frankly I think it's time that these charlatans should put their hands up and admit their error rather than just concentrating on their successes. Don't you?

You can read how common sense and Green won the day over here, here, here and here.