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Examples of Green Marketing: Companies & Campaigns

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  • 0:03 Background on Going Green
  • 1:04 Green Marketing Examples
  • 5:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

These brands prove that going green is not only good for the environment, but good for business! In this lesson, we'll look at some examples of companies and campaigns leading the green marketing charge.

Background on Going Green

Today's consumers are increasingly aware of their impact - and their favorite brands' impact - on the environment and society as a whole. That's where green marketing comes into play.

The concept of green marketing is about highlighting a product or service's environmental benefits and illustrating how brands are changing their processes and practices to be more environmentally aware. For consumers, it means you might hear terms like ''eco-friendly,'' ''sustainable,'' ''organic,'' ''recyclable,'' or reducing a ''carbon footprint,'' among others. A carbon footprint is the environmental impact of an individual or a business.

More and more brands are getting on board the green marketing train, shining the spotlight on their safe and mindful products and services, or changing up a brand's entire image from revenue-driven to environmentally friendly. This lesson will explore a few examples of green campaigns that show how a particular product or service is making a difference, as well as brands that are embracing a greener way of doing business altogether.

Green Marketing Examples

1. GE Ecomagination

General Electric thinks so much of being a greener company that they built the term ''eco'' right into their new business concept. GE's Ecomagination platform states that the company is working to make products and refine their operations to become more environmentally friendly.

The goals of the Ecomagination initiative are to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas, which are gases that stay in the atmosphere and keep the earth hot, and water consumption and to invest in clean energy and develop eco-friendly products in a more responsible way. The campaign has now surpassed the 10-year mark, with facts and figures on the company's website to back up their changes, such as a 17 percent decease in water used and a 12 percent decrease in greenhouse gas.

To highlight their efforts, they undertook a massive integrated campaign across multiple media channels, included a dedicated webpage, and advertisements in print, television, and online. Their green marketing has relied heavily on the use of natural imagery, such as birds and lots of greenery. GE also built five interactive online games as part of the campaign to better educate consumers about eco-friendly products.

2. Timberland

Clothing company Timberland is famous for its hiking boots and outdoor wear, so it's no surprise that their ''Earthkeepers'' campaign was designed with green in mind. Not only is the Earthkeepers line environmentally friendly, but it tries to ''motivate environmental behavior change,'' according to its website.

The products in the collection feature items made with recycled materials (including up to one-and-a-half plastic bottles in each pair of boots!). Yet, the bigger component might be the 2010 campaign accompaniment, ''Nature Needs Heroes,'' that attempted to motivate Timberland's customers to be accountable for their actions in the outdoors.

Timberland used television advertisements and print pieces, as well as social media and an interactive microsite, which is a small website that exists within a company's primary site. The messaging for consumers was that one small act can make a big difference, such as picking up trash outdoors.

The company also built a ''Virtual Forest,'' where visitors could build a virtual forest, which Timberland matched with tree planting in Haiti.

3. Coca-Cola

The soft drink manufacturer's campaign to ''Live Positively,'' was born out of a desire to make changes throughout the world through sustainability. Coca-Cola's goal by 2020 is three-fold:

  1. To empower female entrepreneurs
  2. To help conserve water worldwide
  3. To help encourage a more healthful lifestyle with better choices and more exercise

Part of the campaign was to introduce its PlantBottle packaging, which uses materials recycled partly from plants to reduce the company's footprint and conserve resources. The company has built an entire website about the PlantBottle, complete with videos and infographics explaining what PlantBottle is, where it's used, and how it's changing the world.

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