Tag Archives: Climate Change

Inspirational Advertising: The Importance of Direct Actions and Civil Disobedience


The largest international environmental nonprofit group on the planet has taken marketing to an entirely new level. Greenpeace is best known for successful campaigns to save whales, rainforests and wildlife with provocative tactics that captivate audiences around the globe. Controversial law bending and peaceful strategies allow the group to innovate marketing tactics.  In 2009, highly trained Greenpeace activists hung a banner on Mount Rushmore National Monument. The banner was positioned in line, to the right of the sculptured faces. The banner depicted President Obama in the backdrop essentially placing him on Mt. Rushmore, a significant national monument.  The white banner was straightforward with a bland but beneficial color scheme that contained lettering in red, white, black and green. The message was clear, “America Honors Leaders, not politicians. Stop Global Warming.”. Creative communication and audacious demonstrations of provide Greenpeace and advantage in mass marketing and direct messaging.

On the day of the event the Greenpeace activists brilliantly coordinated a live video stream, the media, and utilized social networks to gain attention to the MT. Rushmore demonstration. Audaciously trespassing in a restricted area the activists, were successful obtaining free publicity to boost awareness of their message. The spectacular act could not be ignored by international media outlets, social or radio networks. Political and controversial issues have been largely ignored and spun by network pundits, but this valiant action by Greenpeace was successful in reaching millions of people around the world captivating their targeted audience.  Greenpeace also showed impeccable timing with this protest. This particular demonstration was synchronized with the G8 summit, a meeting of the world leaders putting an emphasis on the message.

The clear and concise image circulated mass media outlets for weeks after the incident demanding attention to the issue of climate change. On the bottom of the banner, the contrast between the white lettering and the black background presented the words “Stop Global Warming” a conspicuously powerful, and thought provoking message.  Climate change is a sensitive issue which many politicians and world leaders have notoriously avoided despite public concern and the scientific community’s uproar.

Americans largely distrust politicians, a majority of whom are known to break campaign promises and flop on major issues due to political pressure.  The word, “politician” carries negative connotations, often conjuring up feelings of deceit and dishonesty and often brings into question their integrity.  Highlighted in bold red “Not Politicians”, clearly stands out from the dull grey artistic sculpture. It is obvious that the primary target in the message is President Obama, personalized by his face on the banner. This can also be considered a ploy to open a direct line of communication with the president and hold him accountable for lack of action and leadership on the politically controversial issue.  It is apparent that American voters are the secondary target by stating on the banner “America Honors Leaders”. The tertiary target is aimed towards climate change sympathizers. The message is clever, direct and daring. It also provokes the observer to consider the difference between a leader and a politician. This comparison also adds a sense of importance by depicting President Obama next to President Lincoln. Mount Rushmore National Monument contains the glorified sculptured faces of George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln who are arguably four of the most influential presidents in America’s history.  They are each known for making historic, popular and essential decisions.  The banner’s image of President Obama placed perfectly to the right of President Lincoln invites the observer to compare the current president to the former presidents, not just the difference between a leader and a politician. 

The passionate people who are willing to stretch the bounds of the first amendment are also incorporated in the image. The sheer consequences of their actions give the observer a heightened sense of importance to this issue. We see them in the image, bravely hanging from thin ropes from a world famous monument. The dedicated peaceful protesters are evidently inspiring others to bring attention to the issue. It is considered a social norm to admire the brave and courageous people in our society. We honor those who put themselves in harm’s way for a just cause, and often refer to them as heroes. A tradition that is traceable throughout human history, and we often attempt to mimic their behavior. The activists in this image are clearly trespassing on a national monument which is unlawful, although in this image the majority of the targeted audience will consider them heroes. They could have fled, at the expense of the image being less potent, allowing the observer to excuse the minor mischief.

Greenpeace is a major leader in the environmental movement.  Their campaigning tactics are continually being innovated to suit their needs of specific campaigns. Their creative communication techniques and the precise demographic targeting help to enhance their unique form of marketing. Greenpeace is not selling us a product; they are promoting their organization, advertising their message with the use of free publicity.  Attention that any business would handsomely pay for. They have an exceptional and provocative way to accomplish their marketing objectives. We must respect and admire their successful techniques and recognize the nonprofit group as a marketing genius, regardless if we agree with nonprofit’s use of civil disobedience. Observers of this image will forever associate Greenpeace with the greatest leaders of America’s short history. Any American should be thankful that McDonalds didn’t think of it first.









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Save Money and the Environment

Saving money and energy? Yes please! The holiday season is upon us, which means we could all use a little extra savings. The fact is that many of the small choices that we make on a daily basis contribute to our environmental impact that we leave behind. The “on the go” lifestyle has many of us making small decisions that can end up making large impacts. Here are some helpful tips that can directly keep money in your credit union or buried in your backyard.

  1. Run your dishwasher with only a full load and when applicable use the energy-saving settings for drying. (Don’t use heat)
  2. Wash Clothes in warm or cold water, not hot water.
  3. Turn down your water heater thermostat; 120 degrees is recommended.
  4. Replace and clean air filters as recommended. The less energy needed, the more you save.
  5. Energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs can save money when you do need to use the lights.
  6. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket if your water heater is over 5 years old and doesn’t have internal insulation.
  7. Install low flow shower heads in order to use less hot water.
  8. Caulk and weather-strip around doors and windows to make sure you plug those cold air leaks! If you rent, call your land lord.
  9. Ask your utility company to conduct an energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient, making sure you know the ins and outs of your home could make a big difference.


Filed under Energy, Envirionment, Money, Sustainability

Small Feet Still Leave Big Footprints

What is your footprint?Even when we make conscious decisions to limit our carbon footprints, we are still leaving behind a large trail. Small feet still leave big prints, especially in the developed world. Have you ever wondered what your carbon impact was on our beautiful planet? Most of our daily lives revolve around unsustainable practices, and the choices that we make drastically effect our environment. The good news, is that there are many ways to reduce our individual impacts on the planet and save money in the process. In the United States, most of the energy used comes from dirty fossil fuels which means that even when we choose to make sustainable choices we are still leaving behind large foot prints. If everyone lived like an average American, we would need four Earths to support the seven billion people on this planet today. You can check out your impact here to find out how many Earths we would need if everyone lived like you. http://www.myfootprint.org/

Here are some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the process:

  1. Unplug unused appliances. You can save money on your electric bill by unplugging your appliances, toasters, coffee makers etc. They still use a little electricity due to bleed off when they are plugged in.
  2.  Use power strips to turn off electronics. You can save money on your electric bill by using power-strips. Power=strips can be turned off with a button, and stop the electric bleed off.
  3. Compost. You can reduce your garbage output by composting at home, while giving back to your garden. Composting puts nutrients back into the soil removing the need to use petroleum based fertilizer’s.
  4. Turn off the lights! I can’t stress enough how much money you can save by turning off lights every time they are not being used.
  5. Turn down the heater. The less energy you use, the more you save and turning the heater down 2 degrees can save hundreds of dollars throughout the year.

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