Environmental Issues Impact Ad Campaigns Significantly

BY Rachel Cagle
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The economy and COVID-​19 aren’t the only things consumers are worrying about this year. There are a variety of major problems making headlines. But consumers still care about the issues that were important to them before this year set in. For example, environmental issues.

How Environmental Issues Impact Campaigns

Even campaigns that spotlight support for environmental issues can fall flat if the wrong types of media are used. For example, direct mail. It's ironic when you receive a print ad from a company that spotlights conserving forests. As the number of pieces of paper used in the ad increases, the ad’s ability to convince decreases.

But, again, environment-​targeting advertising message or not, consumers are still judging brands based on their choices of ad types. If a brand uses a considerable amount of direct mail, newspaper, magazine, catalog, brochure, printed posters, and other types of mass print ads, they are shouting from the hilltops that they don’t care about the environment in the eyes of the environmentally conscious consumer. In fact, according to a report by WARC, consumers say that these ad types are “the most harmful media channels for the environment by consumers.”

WARC also reports that, “Eco-​harmful media were not perceived as carrying trustworthy advertisements,” and “were associated with irritation.”

Principled Shopper Approved Advertising Media

On the other hand, consumers who care about environmental issues approve of ad types such as SMS/​MMS, cinema, radio, TV, and digital ads. If it doesn’t waste paper, principled consumers will have nothing negative to focus on. All they will see (or hear) is the message. These types of ads are also seen as more trustworthy than paper-​based ads.

This is fantastic news for advertisers who are investing more of their advertising budgets in digital, TV, radio and mobile advertisements. Cinema may have to wait until the pandemic is behind us to really hit its stride. Do you have clients who have been hesitating to make the switch to these ad formats after years of using paper-​based ads? This could be the push they need to convert to other media types. After all, who wants to be a villain when it comes to environmental issues?

Not only do many Americans have opinions on environmental issues, 15.5% regularly support environmental causes and charities with their time and/​or money, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. WARC’s report holds true on their preferences in ad types as well. Last year, the types of ads that made the highest percentages of these consumers take action were TV commercials, ads on social media, sponsored search results and email ads. They’re also 66% more likely than other consumers to take action after hearing mention of a brand on an audio podcast they're listening to.

If that information is too general for your client, look up their target audience on AudienceSCAN to find out specifics. For example, 21.4% of Drug Store Customers regularly support environmental issues-​related causes and charities with their time or money? And their ad preferences include all types of non-​paper-​based ad types.