Greenwashing is a term that was coined in the 1980s to describe corrective ad campaigns launched by US energy companies, that either had a record of violating environmental regulations or had caused irreversible environmental damage.
📚 Chevron’s “People Do” campaign is a notable example, winning an Effie Award for “Gold Standard in Marketing Effectiveness” and is an HBR case study on image advertising. Critics later realized that the campaign was part of a government-mandated environment program, sold as a “green initiative” to obscure the company’s sketchy environmental history.
🕵️♂️ A 2015 Nielsen poll showed that 66% of consumers were willing to pay more for “green” products, i.e. you are more likely to engage with a brand that positions itself as environmentally conscious.
Explore in the carousel:
📌 Did Google promote its renewable energy dependency to shift focus away from its AI being employed in streamlining oil exploration?
📌 Did H&M and Zara launch “sustainable” initiatives to lead consumers into believing they were making responsible choices?
💡 Next time you see a "green" campaign, ask yourself, is the company making a positive impact, or is it just greenwashing its initiatives?