This Blackwater re-branding story reminds me of something that should be rolling around in the back of this blog practically all the time. Just because we might grow used to green-ry doesn’t mean it’s not still happening, moving, changing forms and back again. What is it the kids say – IM N UR INTERTUBZ?
Green washing, lest we forget, is all about branding, which is itself simply a way to identify a product with an idea that triggers ‘the buy’ impulse in consumers. The trigger could be vague and smoky, like sexual allure, or it could be the promotion of a specific sort of loyalty. Either way, the ends are largely the same.
On risk of repetition but begging your forgiveness, Green washing is the branding of a product with sustainability… ecological rigamarole… renewable-ishyness – you see, what cames after the first words, like the singing trees and chirping birds, doesn’t really matter. Though it matters that it doesn’t really matter, if you follow me.
Most people don’t want to go any farther than that, and advertisers know that most people – while they’re sympathetic to the idea of a sustainable world, powered by clean renewables (whatever that means) – don’t want to go any deeper than that. Too many questions arise too quickly about the entire house of cards. We’re the perfect targets for marketing based on self-preservation, basically because we’re afraid to look under our own skirts for what we might see.
Fear not. Go ahead and think of the worst thing you can think of; I’ll wait.
P.S. Dammit! I can’t help thinking that this digression has something to do with the talk by J.P. Witkin that I went to a couple days ago. Hate it when mediums I don’t like work on me anyway.