the grass is greener on the internet

Green-wash my DM
August 27, 2008, 3:50 pm
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Further to my post yesterday on the concept of making marketing communications greener, the Direct Mail Special Report from May’s AdNews tells me that some companies are trying to make direct mail a little more eco-friendly.

I have to admit that I’d never heard of carbon neutral paper before…and I’m just a little curious as to how you calculate it (do they take into account the carbon absorption lost by the trees cut down?) but Paperlinx/Australian Paper claims that their new range, [go green with] Envi, is another way to ease that corporate guilt. They’re accredited by the Australian Department for Climate Change’s ‘Greenhouse Friendly’ scheme, which has to count for something, but I’d still like to see their calculations.

Meanwhile, other suggestions for getting green with your DM include, using non-toxic inks, waterless printing and reducing waste by recycling where possible.

But hopefully, as the whole report tries to sell, if direct mailers are becoming more targeted and better at engaging consumers, there won’t be much waste at all. [Personally, I will directly bin anything that is addressed to ‘the homeowner’ purely out of distaste.]

You know you’re a marketing geek when…

…I was waiting in line at one of my favourite cafes today and amusing myself by looking at their miniature cakes, which they’re known for. These cakes both come in a smaller and larger version, with a substantial price difference between them. One of the types of cake is a lamington which is decorated with hand-shaved coconut. I happened to notice that the shavings on the smaller cakes were much larger than those on the larger ones. My first thought? Is this a marketing ploy to make people feel like the smaller cakes are ‘too small’ so that they upgrade?


Communicating the green message
August 26, 2008, 11:52 pm
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Cutting carbon emissions is the cause du jour – sod the other environmental effects, let’s just measure our CO2 and then cut, cut, cut!

A lot of companies are spending a lot of money to try and tell consumers that they’re doing just that.

Perhaps they should be looking at spreading the ‘green’ message in a ‘green’ way, though…it’s been calculated that marketing communications cause over 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year and is likely to increase, according to TrinityP3. (See here.)

What can you do? For a start, include it in your ‘carbon footprint’ when buying offsets. Then have a look at communication delivery methods and how they can reduce environmental impact whilst retaining their marketing impact. Waste paper is an obvious sinner, as are novelty products that require transporting long distances, but internet isn’t entirely blameless either.

It won’t be perfect, but it’s definitely something to think about.