The leading marketing and communications firm entirely focused on the sustainability space is also bringing multiple brands together to address sustainability issues by changing behavior in consumers.
A great example of a multi-brand collaborative campaign is: Wasting Water Is Wierd. Meet “Rip the Drip” and be forever changed.
[Sue: All marketing is trying to create culture, but when there’s a group, doesn’t that kind of lift the game to a higher place?] It sure does. But people have different agendas… Our job is to have an idea already, and attract the right like-minded companies so they can support it and get it out in the marketplace.
We’ve all been on a committee where the objective is kind of loose, and you end up with a camel instead of a horse. We are creating an idea, and putting that out in front of multiple brands…. For those that it fits, we’re bringing them into the fold, if you will.
I started my company when I was 23 years old… so I’ve been at this awhile. I started as a boutique creative firm in Tennessee. Over time I thought: this might be easier, you might attract bigger brands and work on more important stuff, if you focused in one area…. At the time, we had done a lot of work in the electric utility space… and when we looked in our crystal ball, we could see that energy [and the environment, and legislation] was going to be a big emerging area. No other ad agencies were focused on it. So we picked this as a business strategy to grow our business.
Once you get into this space, there is no way it won’t impact you personally. Today I can say I’m a capitalist and a tree-hugger… Along the way I’ve become deeply concerned about some things going on in the world and very passionate about being able to change those.
The "Wasting Water Is Wierd" Campaign...
The best example is our “Wasting Water is Weird” campaign. It was a coalition of Kohler, Lowes, Proctor and Gamble and Bosch….and the issue was water conservation and trying to nudge Americans to change behavior… while also endearing those brands to the consumer.
Based on our ongoing market research with Americans, we have landed on recycling and food waste as the [next] two biggest issues that American’s need nudging on …. So we are working right now to bring multiple brands together and work on that.
If you want to change behavior, you have to wake people up to their automatic behaviors so they can make a conscious choice. So the core idea of “Wasting Water is Weird” is to help people notice the very moment when using water becomes wasting water.
Words of Wisdom...
Stick with it. We are trying to change pretty major paradigms and create a culture shift, both in our collective culture that we’re living in, and the corporate culture. Every Fortune500 company probably has a sustainability department and publicly stated goals, but how much they’re spending against those goals, and the effort they’re putting in is not as big as the effort they’re putting behind other initiatives. Hang in. It will get better.
And… dream up innovative things! It will attract the right players to the table eventually and ultimately create change.