Shelton Group recently launched a new campaign aimed at the lowest hanging fruit for those that want to live more sustainably. The company celebrates the following statistic from Eco Pulse: “70% of Americans feel moderately to very strongly responsible to change their daily choices to positively impact the environment.” But that said, people are much more likely to make changes that are easy and/or simple. Additionally, when it comes to ad campaigns, one of the most effective tools we can use to get people on the side of taking action to live more sustainably is to make them laugh.
Shelton Group notes: “We tend to take ourselves pretty seriously in the sustainability space. And I get it: the apocalyptic future we’re all facing is no joke. But jumping up and down and shouting that the end is near – like so much sustainability content and most of the speakers at every conference I attend – doesn’t work. Think of your favorite ad… my guess is it’s funny and made you smile. Or maybe it’s heartfelt and made you get misty-eyed. The point is that the most effective campaigns MOVE people. They reach out and touch people’s hearts; they make people FEEL something. Nobody can take action when they’re frozen by fear.”
The above insight led Shelton Group to design their “See it. Feel it. Seal it.” campaign aimed at encouraging people to weather strip and air seal their homes. The campaign centers around a short Youtube video featuring a talking seal with an accent looking adorable and making jokes about sealing one’s home to avoid encountering “tiny mice poops”. He does so while educating homeowners on the tools they need (which are very few) and the steps they can take (which are relatively quick and easy) to seal and weather strip their homes.
It could be easy to dismiss the Shelton Group’s campaign as a little silly but it is more important to remember that it works. The campaign was highly targeted, but given that, the click rate on social media was almost 10%. Compare that to the fact that click through rates for most campaigns is less than 1%.
Perhaps more sustainability marketing and education should appeal to BOTH the change that definitely needs to happen AND to presenting information in a humorous and engaging way.