A Super Bowl of Sustainability
Media's Responsibility to Set the Tone
Hello there sport! Welcome to Save Our Happy Place, a newsletter making it easy for you to help protect the places you love from climate change. Are you ready for some football? No? Me neither, but we are here to help you navigate the environmental impact of significant cultural moments. This week we are diving into America’s favorite pastime… advertising.
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A Kick-Off for Sustainability Advertising: SuperBowl LVI Has Its Moment
The Touchdowns and Fumbles of Media & Climate
In the U.S. alone advertising and public relations are an estimated $148.8 billion industry with an estimated $485 million of that going towards the annual NFL Superbowl alone, America’s most-watched broadcast with 100 million annual viewers. The first “green” Superbowl ad ran in 2005 for Kia, and it has taken the 17 years since then to really see an uptick in climate-oriented ads. With 2021 showcasing four green ads, 2022’s Superbowl was up over 100% with nine green ads. As Superbowls ads can be a reflection on where we are as a nation, this is an important and celebratory shift to note.
It is also important to note the influence advertising can have on the climate movement. Yale Climate Communication conducted a study that shifted Republican views on climate change and its seriousness up 16 percentage points through targeted advertising. With that kind of influence, it is worth holding companies accountable to speak on climate change and uplift the dialogue through pointed advertising and marketing efforts. On the other side of the coin, Edelman and other advertising/ public relations giants can shape the narrative around the climate crisis by helping oil companies like Chevron produce exceedingly deceptive advertising or governments overstate their efforts and successes.
Who Showed Up for the Planet at the Super Bowl?
With almost all car companies bringing out electric fleets this year, it is no surprise that the majority of green advertisements at the Super Bowl belonged to automobile manufacturers including BMW, Polestar, Chevy, Kia, and my personal favorite General Motors, with its throwback to Austin Powers’ Doctor Evil needing to save the planet before he can take it over. And in case you are worried about how to charge your new EV, the Wallbox EV Charger had a delightful puppy-filled commercial.
Two non-automobile companies showed up to play including Liquid Death canned water inciting a #DeathtoPlastic and Salesforce’s applaudable use of their tremendous advertising budget on a call for you to join #TeamEarth.
Call On the Media to Do Better By the Planet
Take Climate Action
Elevate Creatives That Do Not Support Fossil Fuels
What? Sign a pledge as a creative or someone in the position to hire creatives, that you will decline future contracts with the fossil fuel industry and decline to work with agencies that retain fossil fuel industry clients.
Why? It's time for advertisers, marketers, and PR professionals to cut ties with fossil fuels. Even if you don’t qualify as one of the above, broach the topic with the creatives at your place of work.
How? Click link to sign pledge. (Estimated 1 minute)
Demand Cable Companies Take Disinformation Off the Air
What? Join Robert Reich and Climate Hawk to demand cable companies – including Comcast, Charter, and AT&T – take dangerous disinformation off the air now.
Why? Disinformation spread by some news networks is misleading and dangerous.
How? Click link to sign petition. (Estimated 1 Minute)
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Some Rays of Sunshine
The Headlines We’re Happy to See
Mass Media Edition
The Washington Post will add 20 new climate positions to their newsroom. - Read More
Boston Globe creates and expands its climate reporting team. - Read More
Local New Orleans broadcast station, WDSU, launches reoccurring climate change segment, Forecasting Our Future. - Read More
A small army of volunteers keeps climate deniers off Wikipedia. - Read More
In France car ads must now come with a caveat: Walk, bike, or take public transit instead. - Read More
‘Don’t Look Up’ becomes Netflix’s second-biggest film of all time. - Read More
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