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Marketing Daily reports on a new study from OgilvyEarth saying that while “thousands of companies try to link their marketing messages to Earth Day, scheduled this year for April 22 ... the vast majority are not having any impact on consumer behavior.”

According to the story, “While 82% of Americans have ‘good green intentions,’ only 16% are dedicated to fulfilling them. And the 66% -- or ‘the Middle Green’ -- are pretty much ignored by marketers. Overall, 82% have no clue how to estimate their carbon footprint, and 70% would rather cure cancer than fix the environment.”

The story goes on:

“The problem, the agency found, is that green continues to feel like a niche position. ‘Existing green marketing is either irrelevant or even alienating to most Americans,’ it notes. ‘Half of Americans think the green and environmentally friendly products are marketed to ‘Crunchy Granola Hippies’ or ‘Rich Elitist Snobs’ rather than ‘Everyday Americans’,

“It also found that the group it calls Super Greens -- the most devoted -- pay a price for that commitment, and that in addition to often paying more of goods, ‘there is relatively high social and emotional cost. This segment reveals that they feel ostracized from their neighbors, families, and friends.’ And the more they learn about sustainability, the worse they feel, with the study finding they feel twice as guilty as Middle Greens.”
KC's View:
Y’know what makes me crazy?

The mere suggestion that we have to make a choice between behaving in an environmentally responsible way and curing cancer.

Have we gotten to the point in America that we cannot hold two such thoughts in our minds at the same time?

Maybe companies have to do a better job of marketing. But I also think that some of this plays into an inherent - and unhealthy - American view of elitism.

People who behave as if they are better than other people are, of course, worthy of suspicion. But some people are smarter and wiser than others, and I’m perfectly content to treat someone who is smarter than me about cancer research or environmental studies as if they are smarter than me about cancer research or environmental studies.

Being smarter doesn’t make one immediately worthy of suspicion.