I tried to steer myself away from the two topics that I blog about most (environment and marketing) but I just can’t help this one.
Usually I’m the one sticking up for David Suzuki. My friends think he’s a hypocrite (mainly for his current stance on nuclear power) or just too righteous — however, I’ll be the first to give him a slap on the back for a job well done. He’s a man with a message and he’s gone great lengths to be heard.
However…. I have some issues with his current marketing campaign.
First and foremost, why was he naked for this season’ promo for the Nature of Things? I was extremely weirded out by that. Yes, I get it; it’s the naked truth about the environment… Holding the world on your shoulders while naked like a greek god (ahem, somewhat like a greek god) eh? That’s not too righteous at all…
But anyways, that’s not what I meant to talk about. (But haha…I just put a pic of David Suzuki naked on my blog!) I’m talking about the huge marketing campaign his foundation is doing with Powerwise. If you’re in Ontario, I’m sure you’ve seen him. He’s plastered everywhere, holding the lightbulb. Here’s just a quick excerpt from his Foundation explaining the campaign.
That’s why I volunteered for an energy-conservation ad campaign for Powerwise, a partnership between local Ontario electrical utilities and the Government of Ontario. We’ve completed two television commercials and some (not some…LOTS!) print and outdoor advertising, all of which folks in Ontario can expect to see plenty of this summer.
For the local electrical utilities, their main goal is to reduce electrical consumption and avoid brownouts, where demand for power outstrips supply. California used similar public-awareness campaigns to successfully reduce its electricity consumption. I hope Powerwise has a similar effect in Ontario.
I don’t mind the TV ads, I don’t even mind the bulletin boards, and I like the message, however, my issue is with effectiveness. Do you think TV ads, print and outdoor advertising are the most effective adverstising mediums? The sheer magnitude of this campaign must be costly. TV ads are definitely not cheap and for the amount of bulletin boards out there, I don’t know if they’re much better.
For today’s marketing to be effective, I think that you need a better mix of mediums – better put, a web 2.o mix of mediums. Keep the bulletin boards, TV ads (still need to hit the seniors and not-so tech savvy baby boomers), just lessen the amount and add some other, more interactive ads.
Why do you think the Dove Campaign has done so well? They have a great message mixed with great marketing. They’ve combined the regular advertising with social media. Their campaign was one of the most talked about advertising strategies and continues to be today.
Yet, even as all these hooks are part of the campaign, the early part of the campaign was mainly driven by TV ads, and billboard ads featuring their “real” models. Now Dove is getting smart about social media, using it to drive even more interest online in the central theme behind the entire campaign. One of the most popular videos on YouTube right now is Dove’s Evolution of Beauty, a video also posted on their website.
Especially on something so expressive as the environment, I suggest that David Suzuki and the Ontario Government get a lesson on web 2.0. There’s a lot to discuss and a lot of interactivity that can be going on. People are already doing it. Treehugger was just bought by Discovery for $10 million. (Congrats- the founder is also a Carleton grad – woo hoo!)
So Mr Suzuki, I love the message, but put some clothes on get on board with the today’s marketing:)