P&G, Coke launch green digital campaigns

16 April 2010

NEW YORK: Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are both making greater use of digital media to promote their sustainability credentials to consumers.

Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, is seeking to draw attention to its alliance with Ocean Conservancy, an organisation that aims to protect the marine environment, in the run-up to Earth Month.

In an effort to achieve this objective, the company has built an application that will allow members of Facebook to "oceanise" pictures so that they appear to have been taken underwater.

Whenever a user of the social network sends this application to one of their friends, Coca-Cola will give $1 (€0.73; £0.64) to Ocean Conservancy, with a maximum commitment of $200,000.

Print and online advertising will support this scheme, featuring taglines such as "71% of the Earth's surface is ocean. Shouldn't 100% of it be clean?"

More broadly, Coca-Cola is planning to "match" the donations made to Ocean Conservancy by participants in its MyCokeRewards online loyalty programme, to a potential value of $50,000.

Dansai, its water brand, also has a website showing how people can be more eco-friendly, and will contribute $1 to the same charity for the first 25,000 times these tips are shared on Facebook and Twitter.

Celeste Bottorff, vice president of Coca-Cola North America, said the motivation behind this social media campaign was to encourage a long-term change in behaviour.

"We believe we can make a positive difference on the planet through our employees, our consumers, our partners," she added.

Procter & Gamble, the FMCG firm, launched its Future Friendly marketing campaign in the US in March, with the goal of providing information about saving energy and water to 50 million customers.

It has now announced a tie-up with the National Geographic Society to produce bespoke educational materials on the topic, which will be made available on its dedicated website and via Facebook.

Elsewhere, P&G has agreed to sponsor the high-profile Earth Day 2010 40th Anniversary event which is being held in Washington later this month, and is organised by the Earth Day Network.

It is also sponsoring related iPhone and Facebook applications, both of which ask individuals to make pledges to cut their carbon footprint, and to get their friends and family to consider these kinds of issues.

"One of the central components of the Future Friendly program is to collaborate with external partners and outside experts to develop innovative ways to reach consumers with our conservation message," Kirk Perry, P&G's vp, North America, said.

"The program reflects our approach to enabling the mainstream consumer to reduce her use of natural resources."

At a recent WFA conference, Fernando Rodés Vilà, the ceo of Havas, argued that more brands should use sites such as Facebook to increase their "social capital" by highlighting topics such as sustainability.

Data sourced from Coca-Cola/Procter & Gamble; additional content by Warc staff