After posting an article on Wednesday on Barcelona anti-litter campaigns, we discovered that Treehugger had been recently tipped (thanks Duarte) about other novel ways of encouraging people to clear up after themselves in public places. The Southwest Music Festival, which took place last week in Casa Branca, Portugal, was sponsored by the telecommunications company TMN. We are used to seeing large companies sponsoring such events. It is clearly a great way to advertise whilst at the same time supporting a cultural event.It is a sort of symbiotic process whereby the money from big business enables the music festival to take place, and the business, by plastering their logo all over the place, is able to align their brand with a certain demographic and gain kudos from their target market. However it seems that we are now so used to this practice that it is no longer enough to just to show the brand’s ‘face’. To capture the attention of the consumer you need to go one step further. As TMN did this year in Portugal when they received a lot of positive press for encouraging eco-friendly behaviour on the festival sight. They set up ‘Eco-points’ for waste separation and even created games and activities with prizes, for those who made particularly positive contributions towards a better festival environment. For example there was a competition to see who could collect the most plastic cups and one of the prizes was to plant a new pine tree on sight. Each tree was baptized so that in successive festival years when the winners return to the festival to enjoy the music they can also see their trees, which signify their positive attitude towards the environment. The extra bonus is that hopefully they will remember TMN too!
It might be easy to be cynical about TMN’s motivations to give the impression that they care about the environment and criticisms might even be made about appealing to the greedy side of human nature, i.e. that people will clean up after themselves only when there is a tangible reward at the end of it! But in the end this method of marketing is surely more positive than negative. Since big business will always be clamouring to get the consumer’s attention, it is good hear that some brands are coming up with more positive, educational strategies. And furthermore the trees of course will last a lot longer and give more pleasure than TMN could ever hope to!
[Leonora & Petz]