Tagged 'sustainability'

Chipotle’s new film harnesses Big Food anxieties

Chipotle’s new animated short film and mobile game, designed to “change the way the world thinks about its fast food,” follows on from 2011’s “Back to the Start.” That film, which was later edited into a TV commercial, depicts a family pig farm that turns into an “industrial animal factory” before the farmer regrets the move and reverts to his older ways. The latest, featuring Fiona Apple’s “hypnotic” cover of “Pure Imagination” from the original Willy Wonka, shows a young scarecrow caught up in the dark, menacing world of Big Food production. Authoritarian crows inject poultry with hormones and package meat labeled “100% beef-ish!” In both the movie and the game, the scarecrow must break out of the assembly line and forge his own path, growing food naturally to “cultivate a better world.”

As we noted in our 10 Trends for 2012 report, consumers are becoming more concerned about sustainability, a trend that’s on the rise. They’ve also become anxious about the processes behind food production (even spurring McDonald’s in Australia, for instance, to sponsor a TV film showing a group of Australians touring its operations, from farm to factory to retail). Chipotle harnesses these concerns and uses them to direct the public to a friendlier alternative: “The more you know about where your food comes from and what it takes to produce it, the more likely you are to take care in seeking out something that’s raised responsibly,” says Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s CMO, in a behind-the-scenes video.

While many are praising the film’s message, others have called it fear marketing that takes advantage of urban consumers’ ideological anxieties. While the film does stoke anxieties, it’s likely targeted at consumers already harboring concerns about their food and looking for alternatives.

‘Schick Unplugged’ helps Japanese shavers cut power use

After last year’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, nuclear power was shut down, and Japanese citizens were forced to cut back on power use. In response, Schick and JWT came up with “Unplugged,” a small holder that reminds people not to use electricity (by blocking the electrical outlet) and provides a place to hang a razor at the same time.

The shaver and holder were sold together in promotional packs to make them more accessible to all consumers. Outlets in public bathrooms and those in restaurants and bars were hijacked to convey the message that “Schick saves electricity with you.” Leaflets with general energy saving tips were also part of the campaign.

The brand gave consumers a novel and easy way to adjust their behavior at a time of high anxiety and showed support for the common cause of saving electricity.

Photo Credit: JWT

「シック・アンプラグド」日本のヒゲソリ層の節電に貢献

昨年の震災後、原発が停止。深刻な電力不足から、日本国民は節電を強いられることとなった。そこでシックとJWTは、「アンプラグド・ホルダー」を発明 – カミソリを立掛けると同時に、コンセントをふさぐ機能を併せ持つ。

誰もが手軽に使えるよう、カミソリとセットでお得な価格で販売。同形状のOOHで飲食店などの公共のコンセントをジャックし、“シックは、あなたといっしょに節電します”というメッセージを伝えた。さらに街頭では、節電ライフ啓蒙リーフレットを配布してキャンペーンをサポートした。

消費者の不安が高まる中、シックはユニークな形にて節電に貢献することに成功した。

Help Remedies brings simplicity to the drugstore

Help Remedies is a new type of drug company that addresses anxiety in the medicine aisle by bringing a novel approach to over-the-counter drugs. Their line of seven remedies is clearly labeled in minimalist, biodegradable packaging. Each is named for the relevant ailment and contains only one active ingredient—Help I Can’t Sleep, for instance, contains only the sleep aid diphenhydramine.

In a new campaign, the brand cleverly directs shoppers to “take less excess, decoration and nonsense” from drug companies in a kooky video that’s a stark contrast to any OTC commercial I’ve ever seen. “Everybody in the drug aisle likes to talk about more, bigger, extra, super, and maximum,” explains the company’s website. “But we’re not going to talk about that. We think people get enough drugs, dyes, and nonsense from other kinds of drug companies. Help is a new type of drug company—a drug company that promises you less.”

As we’ve discussed, too many choices can paralyze consumers, creating anxiety that deters any purchase at all. In the case of illness, however, that’s not always an option. Help Remedies addresses this, as well as the general sense of confusion in the drugstore aisles, by stripping down the decision-making process to an easy problem/solution formula, and at the same time caters to today’s desire to avoid synthetic ingredients. Just what the doctor ordered.

Photo Credit: helpineedhelp.com

São Paulo radio station addresses mobility woes with traffic tool

Getting around in São Paulo, the world’s fourth largest city, is not an easy task. Public transportation is crowded, insufficient for the millions who depend on it, while some 7 million cars clog the streets. Cars average just 18 kilometers an hour, slower than some remote-controlled cars. Last year residents lost 2 hours and 42 minutes each day in traffic jams, according to research from Ibope/Nossa São Paulo. Traffic jams can also prove dangerous, with “arrastões” (groups who attack and steal cars together) working busy avenues during peak times.

The mobility problem is a long way from being addressed, especially since the government isn’t investing in solutions. In another example of Creative Urban Renewal—one of our 10 Trends for 2011—media company Bandeirantes Group, in partnership with insurance provider SulAmérica, launched SulAmérica Trânsito in 2007, a radio station dedicated to broadcasting traffic news around the clock. During rush hour, it’s the No. 2 station in the city. At the end of 2010, they launched a new system to collect traffic data: Partnering with MapLink, a website specializing in digital mapping, they collect information from GPS systems installed in 1 million cars and identify their location and average speed. The system can also be accessed via mobile apps or online.

This system is proving much more reliable than the government’s. In mega-cities, where mobility issues generate anxiety and decrease quality of life, private-sector tools to ease the pain of traffic jams are more than welcome.

Photo Credits: http://www.sulamerica.com.br/radiotransito/; http://maplink.com.br/

‘Green curtain sets’ take off in Japan with summertime energy shortages

Japanese people had great interest in addressing energy issues related to global warming before the earthquake, but habits are hard to change. Now, shortages of electricity for the hot summer have forced the issue. PLANT to PLANT is one innovative solution: In June, seed and plant farmers from Fukushima—within the nuclear power plant’s evacuation area– started nationwide distribution of a “green curtain set,” which includes a bitter gourd nursery plant and a planter. A green curtain is an energy conservation method—plants outside a building help keep inside temperatures down. Bitter gourd can also be harvested as a summer vegetable. Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retailer, reported that sales of green curtain kits are up ninefold this year, according to Businessweek. Companies like Hitachi and Kyocera are undertaking similar initiatives, giving seed kits to employees as well as planting around their facilities.

People here are becoming more open to the wisdom of old times and the power of nature vs. unquestioned reliance on limited resources. Many of the paradigms for energy use will likely change as Japan finds a new way forward. Brands that can offer sustainable, nature-based, tradition-inspired solutions that also help people maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to stand to make a lot of headway.

Photo credit: rockriver

夏の電力不足で「緑のカーテンセット」が好評

山田 詩津 (東京)

日本人は震災前から地球温暖化に関連するエネルギー問題に大いに関心を持っていたが、習慣を変えるまでなかなか至らなかった。しかし暑い夏の電力不足によってこの問題に取り組む時がやってきた。「プラントからプラントへ」は革新的なソリューションだ。六月に原発の避難区域でもある福島県の種苗農家たちがゴーヤの苗とプランターの「緑のカーテンセット」の販売を開始した。緑のカーテンとは植物を建物の外側で生息させることにより、内部の温度上昇を抑制させる省エネの手法である。ゴーヤは夏野菜として収穫もできる。ビジネスウィークによると日本最大のオンラインショップ楽天の今年の緑のカーテンセットの売り上げは、去年の9倍にもなったそうだ。企業でも日立や京セラは同様の事を行っており、社員に種のキットを配布したり、会社施設の周りに植えたりしている。人々は限りある資源に頼るのではなく、昔ながらの知恵や自然の力を活用し始めている。エネルギー使用に関する大きなパラダイムシフトが今後の日本では起きていくであろう。人々が慣れ親しんだライフスタイルを保てるよう手助けできる、持続可能な、自然をベースにした、伝統からヒント得たソリューションを提供できるブランドが前進していくであろう。

Yahoo! responds to Japan’s energy shortage with ‘Power Usage Indicator’

As a result of the earthquake and nuclear crisis, a shortage of power has become an everyday issue for Japanese consumers and businesses. There is a growing concern that this will impact economic recovery, with factories stopping operations every now and then, commuters delayed by trains that periodically stop or slow down, and shops and restaurants closing earlier. People have become extremely conscious of the need to conserve power in their everyday lives, especially with the hot summer approaching, a time when power usage peaks with use of air-conditioning.

Shortly after the earthquake, Yahoo! started displaying a “Power Usage Indicator” on its home page. It uses data from the utility TEPCO to show how much power is being used, updated by the hour, giving people a tangible way to gauge the current situation. Until the earthquake, most people didn’t think much about their energy consumption and used power as if the supply were infinite. The indicator makes people constantly aware of the issue and lets them know when to be especially careful about their own usage.

This is a good example of “branded utility”—finding practical ways to help people in response to the difficulties that arise during our recovery process.


「節電促進の為の電力使用状況アプリYahoo!トップページにて」
森田尚子 - 東京

東日本大震災と福島原発危機の結果、日本の消費者やビジネス界にとって電力不足は日常的な課題となった。停電による工場生産ラインの停滞、交通機関の乱れ、飲食店の閉店等、生活や経済復興への悪影響に対する懸念が広がった。そのような状況の中、人々の日常における節電意識への高まりは当たり前の現象となり、特に数ヶ月後に予想されているエアコン需要に伴う夏場の電力使用ピークに向けての電力不足への不安が増してきている。

震災後間もなく、電力使用状況を示すインディケーターアプリがYahoo!等のトップページに登場。常に一目で電力消費状況が確認できるようになっているこのアプリへの情報提供は東京電力。震災以前はほとんどの人々が自分たちの電力消費量など考えたこともなく、電気は制限なく供給されるものだという意識の中で電力を消費し続けていた。しかしこのような電力使用状況インディケーターがYahoo!等のトップページに常にあることで、毎時変化していく電力使用状況を具体的に見ることになる。それにより、一日のどの段階で電力消費が高まり、どのタイミングで電気スイッチを切るべきか等が非常に分かりやすくなる。

復興というプロセスの中で発生する様々な問題に対しての解決策となる実用的な広告、いわゆる「ブランディド・ユーティリティー」の良い例である。

Hanes humorously goes green, with a nod to fears about the planet’s future

One of the many anxieties surrounding the environment is the condition in which we’re leaving the planet for future generations. Hanes taps into this concern with a humorous commercial for its EcoSmart line of T-shirts, briefs and socks. Two guys stroll through a mall in seemingly similar outfits. But the voiceover reveals that James, who’s wearing Hanes EcoSmart items, is “doing his part to help the environment for future generations,” with clothing made from recycled fiber and powered by renewable energy. The less conscientious Pete, on the other hand, gets the stink-eye from various kids.

Hanes has also created an eco-portal, hanesgreen.com, which outlines the company’s recent greenification (a move that ties into our Maximum Disclosure trend). The site details key accomplishments to date and goals for the future.

Hanes appears to be trying to create a stigma around not being a green consumer. This tactic seems to be smart, especially in light of recent research (highlighted by The Guardian) suggesting that peer pressure is a key driver of green lifestyles. And Hanes manages to make the message clear without getting saccharine, alarmist or sappy.

Garnier, ‘Times of India’ seek to engage, empower youth on climate change

take-care-take-charge

Indians are waking up to the reality of climate change, partly because of media exposure but mostly because we are seeing and feeling its impact. Extreme climate shifts are affecting agriculture and in turn the lives of farmers and their families—some of whom are even turning to suicide—and the end consumer, who’s seen food prices triple. Couple this with initiatives like Earth Hour and the ban on plastic bags in Delhi, and you’ve got a small but growing population (mainly youth) who understand the urgency of doing their bit for the planet, be it reducing their carbon footprint or starting green groups in schools/colleges.

Brands are slowly getting on the bandwagon and using green causes to engage with their audiences, as well as propel positive change. One example is Garnier, the mass-market brand of French cosmetic company L’Oréal, which has joined hands with India’s leading English daily, The Times of India, to promote green ideas among Indian youth. The “Take Care, Take Charge” initiative, which kicked off on April 22 (World Earth Day), seeks to build a greenhouse of ideas for a greener planet. For every idea received, Garnier and The Times of India will buy 10 kilograms of used paper. On June 5 (World Environment Day), the campaign will culminate with an entirely recycled special edition of The Times of India. The winning ideas will be shared with organizations aligned to the campaign and recommended to government bodies for further development.

I like this initiative because unlike some others (Aircel’s Save Our Tigers and Idea Cellular’s Use Mobile, Save Paper), it seeks to generate long-term sustainable solutions and put them into action with the help of relevant bodies rather than just asking individuals to do their little bit.

Photo Credit: http://takecaretakecharge.in/

Mazuma Mobile addresses twin anxieties with recycling program

The impact of our disposable lifestyles on the environment has been a concern to many for some time now. But how many consumers are prepared to pay more for a “green” brand? So often, the anxiety about bank balance is put before anxiety about the environment. Now, being green can actually earn consumers money: A number of companies in the U.K. are encouraging people to recycle old mobile phones in return for cash.



Mazuma Mobile, the most vocal of these, boldly aims to address both concerns at once—recycle your phone for reuse in developing markets (thereby being kinder to the environment and bettering communications in these countries) while earning some cold hard cash in the bargain (reducing concerns about just how to fund one’s lifestyle until the next payday). And with up to £280 for a used phone, Mazuma is likely to have found a successful combination. If only being green could always be this profitable.

mazuma-mobile

Photo Credit: http://www.mazumamobile.com/

The clean diesel movement: Reinventing a ‘dirty word’

For decades, the popular perception of diesel vehicles was decidedly unpopular: They were noisy, smoke-spewing polluters.

But in a new campaign, Audi is championing its TDI “clean diesel” engine, promising cars that are not only sporty and luxurious but also require fewer stops at the pump—a boon to both environmental- and budget-conscious consumers. (Diesel cars use up to 40 percent less fuel than traditional vehicles.)

Audi’s ads are slick but grounded in history; they don’t shirk diesel’s reputation, but rather redefine it. Even the campaign’s slogan, “Diesel: It’s no longer a dirty word,” nods to the fuel’s murky past.

Sales of clean-diesel cars have nearly doubled since 2000, and projections have them increasing threefold by 2015.

As consumers watch day-to-day expenses—but still prioritize cutting-edge technology and environmental conservation—Audi has adeptly tied its brand to a burgeoning movement.

Video credit: MotorCities