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May 6, 2008

Like Moths to a Flame

Jaimy SzymanskiIf you were, well, conscious during Earth Day a couple weeks back, you probably found yourself caught amidst a sea of shameless marketing ploys.

From Julia Roberts and Oprah walking audience members through ways to practice at-home sustainability (including a visit from a very questionable”worm expert”) to Dell’s eye-roll-inducing virtual tree-planting campaign on Second Life, it was enough to make any consumer turn “green” with disgust.

All the marketing hubub (a.k.a. environmental exploitation) surrounding Earth Day and related green efforts was so accurately described by Adam Werbach, global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S [sustainability] as something that is,

“… threatening the credibility — and sustainability — of the marketing industry itself. People with no technical expertise in the complex harmonies that sustainability demands, no capacity to help a company reinvent its products or processes, and no sense of urgency are promising quick fixes and cheap tricks.”

Now, prepare yourselves again for another marketing frenzy this week as economic stimulus checks are set to hit mailboxes nationwide. If you thought Earth Day was crazy, just wait to see what marketers have waiting up their sleeves to target those $600+ paper beauties.

C’mon. Isn’t it time for marketers to (1) get creative and (2) stop underestimating the intelligence of the consumer?

As both a marketer and a consumer, I’d say yes.