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Worldchanging: Bright Green: Bright Green Marketing Practices

September 24, 2011

Unidentified tree in Waikato region, New Zealand.

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Bright Green Marketing Practices

Craig Neilson, 21 Apr 08

It’s nothing new that the relationship between marketers and their potential customers can be a bit strained at times.

There’s probably been at least a few times in your life that you’ve felt annoyed about the way advertisers are approaching you. If you live in western society this probably happens on a regular basis.

But that doesn’t help anyone. The role of a marketer is to hook people up with stuff they want – stuff that people will feel, at least at the time of purchase, will improve their lives.

Marketing can be quite important as a catalyst for change in general. It can swing marketplaces to a better product, bring awareness of new stuff, change attitudes and brand identities. It can decide elections and create entire industries.

But the marketing industry, and in that field I include the advertising industry, is unsustainable in its present form. It’s going to change somehow and that’s up to us.

It’s been possible for some time now to remove ads entirely from your life. The right combination of AdBlocker, PVR’s, application hacking and a conscious decision to look away will do the trick nicely. If advertising annoys you, I encourage you heartily to opt out. Advertisers need to learn!

Force-feeding “consumers” with massive ad-booking spends is the holy grail of current marketing practices. Adspot buyers work frantically on ad spot combinations that will return them the most “TARPs” (Target Audience Rating Points). The idea is that the more TARPs you get, the better your campaign went. The measurement system is weighted grossly in the salesman’s favor, with ads shown while television sets are on mute or their owners are out of the room still being counted as successful impressions. If you watch half a program #and channel-surf during ads#, that counts as watching it. The measurement system doesn’t account for people who skip ads.

But if people are able to opt out, the whole model of mass advertising is defunct. Given the choice, most people, especially young people, would probably do without advertising. That’s the big problem: people hate it. There’s a willingness to shut it out and shut it down.

Coupled with changing attitudes – “why should I listen to you?” – the marketing industry finds itself in big trouble with its millions of new bosses.

So if the future is to have marketing, it won’t look like this.


As with many other required social changes, this one presents a huge opportunity to the market. It’s time for something to happen here: either marketing changes its tune, or the public decides against having an organised marketing industry.

The bright green future could have a cut

via Worldchanging: Bright Green: Bright Green Marketing Practices.

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