Sustainability ads and brand development concept of save the world and recycling

Sustainability has become a major trend among retailers, especially since big brands have realized that today’s consumers do indeed care about their environmental impact. Sustainability ads have become more trendy. In fact, 66% of surveyed shoppers say they consider sustainability when making a purchase. Now more than a popular buzzword, sustainability drives many companies’ business plans – and their bottom lines.

Is it just a fleeting fad? Are sustainability ads just a marketing ploy? Will consumers remain as passionate about preservation? We sure hope so … because these statistics had our team clutching our reusable water bottles in horror, stopping mid-sip from our paper straws.

Is sustainability simply a marketing fad?

Did you know that the recycling rate in America has decreased from 34.7% in 2015 to 32.1% in 2022? Or that three out of every four pieces of waste can be recycled, but only 30% actually are? That means 80% of all items in landfills could have been recycled – but instead join the ever-growing mound of misery. What’s even more concerning is that Americans comprise 5% of the world’s population but produce an astonishing 40% of its waste. Talk about a dumpster fire.

But alas, countless brands are working hard to turn the tide. (And rid it of litter.) Take Subaru, for example. Far from merely pandering to its adventurous, often self-proclaimed “crunchy” customers, Subaru’s devotion to Mother Nature is evident in all it does. In addition to replanting a million trees in forests ravaged by wildfires, it has invested over $20 million in the National Park Foundation. It even builds every single vehicle in a zero-landfill plant!

Eco-focused efforts span industries, from food brands to fashion. Amazon is a shining example, with solar rooftops installed on its distribution centers and 10 renewable energy farms. Procter & Gamble cleaned up its act by switching to recyclable packaging for 90% of its products. And Frito Lay really crunched down as well, switching to an all-electric fleet and running its plants on landfill gas.

Sustainability Ads: How Top Brands Make Conservation Cool

Whether your company is touting its sustainable practices or simply looking to build brand recognition, our marketing specialists recommend the following:

  • Be authentic.
    Consumers can sniff out profit-fueled practices from a mile away, so it’s important to do more than “talk the talk.” Don’t use sustainability ads simply for show, it’s best be honest. Here at M2, we value transparency – in the way we interact with clients and the way we communicate with their customers.
  • Know your audience.
    The value of knowing your target demographic cannot be overstated. Our creative team crafts messaging that will entice your audience, but even the best ads fall flat if they’re irrelevant.
  • Shift your focus.
    The best campaigns focus on the benefits provided to consumers, instead of the brand itself. This makes marketing seem authentic and organic, and builds awareness in a subtle way. Many consumers are turned off by aggressive sales tactics, so it’s important to carefully strategize the best way to connect.

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