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View Full Version : Ever See Ads Admit Something (that needs solving) Only to Further Their Own Interest?



heydude
10-25-11, 7:48pm
A recent car commercial outlined in detail all that is wrong with the United States infastructure (bridges falling, poor highways, etc.).

I was thinking, "SWEET, an add for an economic stimulus aimed at creating jobs, fixing our streets/bridges, and all at record low prices as materials are cheap right now!"

And instead, they were advertising their car's safety systems.

UGH.

It is funny though, how one "large interest" will deny something (like the need for bridge money) because they don't want taxes on the super rich, but another large interest will flat out tell you all about the problem as long as it benefits THEM.

So, at least one big large corporation knows we need money for bridges.

Anyone else see an ad that outlines a problem that so many deny only to be an ad to benefit themselves?

CathyA
10-26-11, 9:21am
Yeah, you'd better get a safe car, so when it falls off the old bridge, you'll be a vegetable instead of dying.
Vultures.

JaneV2.0
10-26-11, 11:46am
Pretty much all the energy ads--"clean coal!"--talk about the need for energy independence, then trot out the same old petrochemicals.

catherine
10-26-11, 3:58pm
Well, I discovered how naive I am, because I'm reading the book Switch by the Heath brothers. In it they talk about how hoteliers got travelers in hotels to agree to not having their towels changed every day. They came up with this "crazy plan" to tell people it's good for the environment. In fact, they were just trying to save money on laundering.

And here I thought the hotels I stay in were Eco-Conscious!

The sad part is, they conducted a test and found that people were more motivated to reuse towels when they heard that "the majority of guests" at the hotel reuse their towels during their stay than by telling them that they were doing good for the environment.

So peer pressure trumped concern for the earth. Bummer! I guess I"m living in a bubble. I thought people really did care about the environment!

puglogic
10-28-11, 4:04pm
Catherine, I no longer care what gets people to do the right thing, as long as they do it.

In fact, locally I'm finding that one way to get people to do "green" things is by showing them the tangible, everyday benefits of it. Amazing locally-raised organic dinners get more people interested in our community gardens than "do it for the Earth!!" ever did. We point out that the money they save on energy can be spent (guilt-free) on other things good for their family, and the CFLs and water heater blankets and such just fly off the shelves. I even inadvertently got a neighbor to start gardening because she was jealous of my lean, muscular, suntanned self but she hated going to the gym! :)

Peer pressure, envy, or genuine altruism....no longer matters to me. I just want them to DO it.

And heydude, this is the oldest trick in the advertising book: Manufacture a (perceived) need, and then graciously offer to help fill it. For a price. That's why I'm not in that business any more.

Zoebird
10-28-11, 6:46pm
i do that all the time with my business catherine. LOL

a friend of mine on the south island runs a hot yoga studio. heating the studio is expensive. some of the teachers want it at 104, and some at 94, and he did his math and figured out that he could afford 85 degrees F. but, the teachers got upset and such.

i told him: 1. he's the boss, he can make a policy. if they don't like it, they can work elsewhere. he's the only one who is going to protect his bottom line; and 2. you market it to them AND the students as "all the benefits of the heat without the heavy environmental impact."

he also provides showers, but people were using those showers for 30 or more minutes each. It was a lot of hot water. I told him to either A. put in timers or B. put in a pedal that turns the water off and on so that you are using less water. I learned this one at a studio in NYC. They marketed it as "don't waste water! use the pedal!" they wanted you to rinse, turn the water off, soap, turn the water on and rinse, and then get out. And they ran contests "the fastest shower wins a prize!" whihc was usually getting your photo on the board with your 'record shower time" on it with the "earth's best citizens this week!" above it.

Their reality is that their water and heating/electric bill was killing the studio.

You gotta watch your bottom line.

Added benefit, it IS good for the planet, and this encourages people to do it.

So, he made the decision to cut the showers and cut the heat, and then we wrote a press release about Green Yoga Studio. I enumerated the various "green" practices:

1. hot yoga is very good for the body, and provides many benefits, but heating the room is a major impact on the environment. So, we experimented with the heat and found the perfect temperature that gives all the benefits of heat, without the major impact. We've decreased the power consumption by X% reducing green house gas emissions. . .

2. after hot yoga, everyone needs a shower, but it's a lot of power to heat the water, and a lot of water can be wasted! by putting in this turn off valve, and showering conscientiously, each student helps save X gallons of water and X% of power per shower!

3. comprehensive recycling system -- described this system;

4. ecofriendly studio -- talked about paints, sustainable flooring, props, etc

5. paper-light studio -- how the studio was reducing paper useage and paper waste

--

this is a new studio with a LOT of competition. by putting out the press release to all of the local papers, this studio got a LOT of coverage on how they were a "local business making a conscious commitment to our environment!" and a lot of students actually switched from their hot-yoga competitors and other studios because of their "green initiatives." it also attracted new students interested in these sorts of things, and I suggested they link up several talks on how to "green your life" with local experts in things from recycling to organic gardening.

it's been a hit.

But, the decisions were really about the bottom line -- saving money on power and water.

is that bad? i don't think so.

RosieTR
11-18-11, 9:19pm
Actually, hitting people/businesses in the wallet is probably the only way that will actually work to improve things on a large scale. It's nice to feel self-righteous but the fact is that most people, most of the time will perform basic economics by choosing something cheaper. The more money actually represents resources (including human work-hours) the more economics will reflect environmental concerns. Ultimately all our lives depend on the environment because we are ultimately animals. Perhaps someday we'll just upload our brains on the web and can forget about physical needs but that won't happen for the foreseeable future.

creaker
11-19-11, 7:44am
is that bad? i don't think so.

I take a bit of issue with point 1 - it sounds more like he found the right temperature for his wallet, not the right temperature for hot yoga, but is selling it as the right temperature for hot yoga.

If the customers are happy with it, though, why not? Many people think hot yoga is too hot. For those who like a more traditional environment, though, it will likely be a disappointment.

loosechickens
11-19-11, 10:05am
I'm in agreement with the "whatever works" camp. And even if the motivation is to improve the business bottom line, it all helps. Face it. Only a small percentage will reduce use, care for the environment, take a long view of resources, etc., from altruism. Another small percentage will do it because they want to look "green" to their peer group. But the huge majority of people will not make changes unless they perceive it to be beneficial to THEM, and long term benefits of a cleaner, cooler planet just don't cut it.

I tried for years to get family members to use reusable bags for grocery shopping, but not until some stores started giving them a nickel for every bag they didn't use, or let them put their name in for a weekly lottery for a gift card for using reusable bags, not a single one was used by the relatives. Now, they do it.

What we need to realize, as a society, is that there are a huge number of things that are good for the environment AND good for your business or personal bottom line, and that is really the best of all worlds, isn't it? Kind of a win/win situation.

Because I don't really think it's a matter of jobs OR the environment, or comforts OR the environment. Societies can change, and nudges that nudge them in the desirable direction, whatever their motivation, is all good to me.

I have a friend who works for a large company that has instituted all sorts of incentives for inculcating healthy behaviors in their employees.....providing a company gym, offering incentives to stop smoking, doing seminars on healthy eating, etc. They market it as "care for their employees", but in reality, it is reducing their health care costs (it's a big hospital conglomerate). Do I care if they really just want more productivity from their workers and more profit for themselves? Nope, especially since my friend no longer smokes and is twenty pounds lighter than she used to be..........

But I do enjoy some of the machinations people will go through to "sell" something they are doing as altruistic, when it's pretty plain that their main interest is "getting some benefit for ME"........but heck, whatever works is my philosophy.

ApatheticNoMore
11-19-11, 12:13pm
I don't favor dishonesty and manipulation as a way to deal with people, ever really. Now if you mean taxes on pollution or carbon use or something fine. It's manipulation and dishonesty in human relationships I'm against. Internalizing environmental externalities via tax policy I have no problem with.


I have a friend who works for a large company that has instituted all sorts of incentives for inculcating healthy behaviors in their employees.....providing a company gym, offering incentives to stop smoking, doing seminars on healthy eating, etc. They market it as "care for their employees", but in reality, it is reducing their health care costs (it's a big hospital conglomerate). Do I care if they really just want more productivity from their workers and more profit for themselves? Nope, especially since my friend no longer smokes and is twenty pounds lighter than she used to be..........

Yes, but if the same company puts workers under regular intense deadlines, massive overtime (cost cutting of hiring new employees you know, why hire two people when you can just have one person do two people's jobs), working lunches catered with less than healthy food etc., all of this stress being very bad for people's health, trust me at least the cynical can see right through the so called concern :)

kitten
11-22-11, 12:11pm
Ha ha, that is SO FUNNY!!! We stayed at a hotel recently that made a big huge deal out of how green they were, with the guilt-inducing placards in the bathroom lecturing you about using your towels more than once to save water, etc.

We're big diet cola drinkers, so on the day we left we'd collected a few empty cans. We took them in our arms and asked one of the concierges where we should put them for recycling. She just stared at us and said, "Oh, we just throw them away." LOL!

(sorry for the hijack)


Well, I discovered how naive I am, because I'm reading the book Switch by the Heath brothers. In it they talk about how hoteliers got travelers in hotels to agree to not having their towels changed every day. They came up with this "crazy plan" to tell people it's good for the environment. In fact, they were just trying to save money on laundering.

And here I thought the hotels I stay in were Eco-Conscious!

The sad part is, they conducted a test and found that people were more motivated to reuse towels when they heard that "the majority of guests" at the hotel reuse their towels during their stay than by telling them that they were doing good for the environment.

So peer pressure trumped concern for the earth. Bummer! I guess I"m living in a bubble. I thought people really did care about the environment!

Jemima
12-10-11, 7:51pm
Business used to be about finding a need and filling it; now it's all about creating a need so people will buy things far above what is necessary or even satisfying. It's all about the (sick) growth economy.

But fear not, Heydude. The scenario is self-limiting and we're seeing the beginning of that now in The Great Recession. People who produced the unnecessary stuff are finding themselves collecting unemployment. The businesses they worked for are crashing. Growth has reached its limits and the system is imploding.

It seems to me that advertisers are escalating their efforts out of desperation. I've received advertising material that practically begs me to buy just a little something and there are businesses giving stuff away just to get customers in the door.

And I'm with ApatheticNoMore - I really dislike manipulation of any sort. When people are maneuvered or tricked into doing the right thing, you can bet they won't repeat the good behavior because they never understood the reason for doing the right thing in the first place.

Bronxboy
12-11-11, 6:39pm
Well, I discovered how naive I am, because I'm reading the book Switch by the Heath brothers. In it they talk about how hoteliers got travelers in hotels to agree to not having their towels changed every day. They came up with this "crazy plan" to tell people it's good for the environment. In fact, they were just trying to save money on laundering.

This seems like common sense to me, and I really don't care whether it is good business or environmentalism. At our house, for much of the year we use our towels for a week between washes.

Outside of August in Miami, I can manage to keep my towel for a 2 to 3 night stay just fine.

lhamo
12-11-11, 8:20pm
Zoebird,

Your friend's marketing/cost-saving strategy was brilliant, but I think he should take it one step further -- instead of pretending to be something he's not (a hot yoga studio), he should market himself as the world's first "warm and cozy" yoga studio! Think of the franchising/marketing possibilities with that one...

lhamo