The Real Eschew

Given the vicissitudes of the news cycle over the last four months, this is a pretty solid distribution of issues over the last four debates. As long as Health Care stays in the top three or four, voters might be able to stay focused on the ridiculous costs of living, and even of dying, quite frankly.

And Democrats can actually do several things at once, as long as one of those things is holding criminals accountable for crimes.

Bonus Fun Fact: subpoena means “Under Penalty.”

The Conformity of Confusion

I can’t help but think the number will have dropped in 2009 but EL reports that self-preservation green advertising was up, way up, in 2008. It does seem to have lost a bit of the initial ubiquity as marketeers figure out how difficult and complicated sustainability is to portray in American society as it is presently configured. Not that difficulty or complexity has ever stopped us/them before; and everyone should read this for a better idea of at least half of the target audience for greenwashing. Threading the needle: directing a sustainable product campaign to appeal to/overlap a population segment, of which half does not believe there is a problem. Let’s make a chart of the kind of spectrum I’m imagining.

So, your campaign, in order to be effective, must sufficiently appeal to an amorphous grouping of potential users/buyers of your product, half which must feel comforted by the fact that your company ‘gets it’ about a changing world – and the other half of which must know that you know it’s mostly if not all BS. Does this explain why these consumer appeals must be, by definition, devilishly clever or childishly absurd, and/or an insulting combination of both?

Of course, in the race for reason among this madness, the seven sins of greenwashing, complete with perfectly sound benchmarks for product performance and little green cartoon aliens. The question for the marketeers is, which clever/absurd elements appeal to which halves of the target demographic?

better should

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.