Piers Fawkes Says Change World or Go Home!
In a less threatening take on the "--or die!" manifesto marketers have become so fond of, Piers Fawkes suggests that if you're not going to go out there and change the world, you ought to just go home.
At the IIR Future Triends '07 conference on Monday, Fawkes gave this presentation -- pointing to Kashi, and that Omnivore's Dilemma guy, as well as other examples -- to illustrate what trendy forms our social assumptions about "going green" take.
"Green is not a trend, it's an issue," he stressed, adding that ours is the best job in the world because we can inspire companies to do good.
Easy to talk, Piers. But the majority of brands that did green right factored ecological salvation into their core ethos, or pursued it later on with some semblance of sincerity (Jones Soda, New Belgium, Google with its insane solar-powered campus endeavour).
Most of the brands seeking the "green effect" at the doorsteps of agencies are probably not tree-huggers at heart, making it difficult for both agencies and clients to build successful long-term world-changing strategies. They all just want to push microsites, project ( RED ) and free trade coffee.
Where does that leave ad agencies, most of which feel the need to wink-wink with clients to keep their business? Who's really going to take the pulpit and shout, "We need to do this right! On your dime!"...?
But what do we know, we can't even play the recycling game.
Topic: Cause, Events, Opinion, Trends and Culture
Nobody needs to shout. Too much shouting lately, IMHO. First, a brand (and its agency) needs to figure out what has to change in order for the brand to present its green side credibly. This may be a major undertaking, but maybe not. Then, especially if big changes are needed, the brand needs to communicate (a) its commitment and (b) its progress.