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Brands can learn from Greenpeace

News, 17 May 2016

LONDON: Greenpeace, the environmental campaign group which has exposed the dubious claims of leading brands, believes those same brands can learn from its own approach to marketing.

Mel Evans, the organisation's head of creative, told Marketing Week that that brand marketers might usefully think about ditching the term "advertising" and avoiding television.

"In our sector we wouldn't necessarily use the word advertising," she said. "It should be about having a strategy for change."

Greenpeace may be operating in a different situation to most brands, but in many respects it is aiming to generate a similar, emotional response to its messaging.

"For us it is about thinking about how can we creative this emotive, powerful feeling for a place or concept many people don't know about enough for them to want to protect it," she explained.

"If a video has a big cinematic feel and an atmospheric song you can transport people to a place they can't necessarily visualise."


Evans added that she sees great potential for virtual reality (VR) to help achieve that. "VR can put people into that world and get them to feel emotions for somewhere on the other side of the planet.

"It is a very compelling thing for Greenpeace and we've got a VR experience coming for the Arctic and another for the rain forests."

Evans also observed that Greenpeace prefers to exploit the flexibility offered by social media and digital rather than accepting the limitations imposed by more mainstream media.

"There are so many forms of film at your disposal on social channels," she said. "You could be straight, newsy, wacky, creative or even use animation. You can react to the world.

"TV ads are a much stricter form so there are perhaps more advantages to digital marketing."

And she made clear that brands found not to be living up to the pledges they made would be exposed no matter how long it took.

"Ultimately, you have to make brands aware that you won't go away. A campaign could last a few hours or five years; it's not up to us, it's up to them."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff