U.S. Advertising: Earth Day CSR Recap

This week marked the 46th annual Earth Day celebration, one the largest environmental movements of the past century. In addition to raising awareness in 141 countries, Earth Day also creates a platform of sustainability for brands looking to make a difference and stand out from the competition. For many organizations, promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives can create a huge impact. 
 
According to a Global CSR Study conducted by Ebiquity and Cone Communications, 84% of consumers seek out responsible products whenever possible, leading them to gravitate towards more earth-friendly brands. With this in mind, the presence of Earth Day may cause many consumers to have a heightened awareness for environmental issues, making it the perfect time for advertisers to make sure their messages are heard. 
 
To understand which brands reinforced an environmentally friendly message for Earth Day 2016, our team of analysts researched the best advertisements from around the country. Here are some notable highlights.
 
Boosting the brand with Tide PurClean
Earlier this year, Tide released a few teasers hinting at its newest laundry detergent. On Earth Day, the brand officially introduced Tide PurClean to consumers across its social media outlets, which will be available in stores this May. 
 
Why Tide PurClean? One aspect consumers struggle with in their switch to more sustainable products is the risk of sacrificing quality for a naturally derived product. Tide seems to combat this challenge by offering consumers the “first bio-based detergent with the cleaning power of Tide.” This stance allows consumers to purchase a more sustainable product that is not only better for the environment, but also worthy of the Tide brand name. 
 
Embracing philanthropy with Eddie Bauer
For the past 20 years, Eddie Bauer has partnered with American Forests, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the conservation and expansion of national forests. For Earth Day, Eddie Bauer released a new ad for its One Tree Initiative featuring actor Ryan Reynolds planting the 50 millionth tree on behalf of the organization. 
 
There are two benefits to this approach. First, as a philanthropic ambassador and a popular figure, Reynolds allows consumers to see a man who truly cares about nature. In addition, this inadvertently pushes the same values as the Eddie Bauer brand and provides a real example of CSR. 
 
Empowering the public with H&M 
H&M began its clothing recycling program back in 2013 in an attempt to lengthen the life cycle of clothing. In part to combat the negative critiques of the economically priced fashion chain, H&M has continually pushed its sustainability efforts. This year, they really made their mark.
 
Leading up to Earth Day 2016, H&M promoted its World Recycle Week campaign, encouraging consumers to visit its stores and drop off old clothes. The Grammy nominated rapper M.I.A. partnered with the brand, contributing her style, sense of social awareness, and a song promoting the ideas behind the campaign. 
 
H&M also took this one step further. As part of World Recycle Week, the brand offered consumers the additional incentive of 30% off discounts when they recycled clothing. This strategy ultimately contributed to the 25,000 tons of clothing H&M has already collected over the past three years. 
 
Embracing the message
It’s becoming increasingly important for brands to raise awareness of sustainable products and environmentally friendly actions. While expectations for companies are high, global consumers are showing a willingness to take personal responsibility to address social and environmental issues, as well. For many brands, Earth Day 2016 proved that they can not only embrace this stance, but create products that reinforce the environmentally friendly messages many consumers now support. 
 
What are your favorite advertising moments from Earth Day 2016? If you’re interested in learning more, contact us at Info.US@ebiquity.com
 
By Luke Sword
About the Author:

Luke Sword is an Advertising Analyst at Ebiquity, plc

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