Now People

Global Cool: A case study in Values Mode campaigning

Thursday, September 8th, 2011 | Our Philosophy | 3 Comments

There is disagreement between many within the environmental movement over how best to engage the public with climate change and, in particular, how to persuade them to make green behaviour choices. A recent report by advocates of the Common Cause approach attempted to discredit the Values Mode approach, which is advocated by Chris Rose and Pat Dade (both members of our advisory committee) and used by Global Cool as the basis for our theory of change.

As implementers of the Values Mode approach, rather than its architects, it is not our place to address the specific concerns raised within the report – called Limitations of Environmental Campaigning Based on Values for Money, Image and Status. Nevertheless, we did feel it was worth presenting an actual real-world case study of Values Mode campaigning in action as a reminder of how it can – and does – work.

Global Cool has been using the Values Mode campaigning approach for three years. Our goal is to persuade the public to make more green lifestyle choices in order to reduce their carbon emissions. We target the values mode known as ‘Now People’, who are generally fashion-conscious trendsetters motivated by status, success, wealth, looking good and having a good time. ‘Now People’ represent a significant proportion of the population and therefore the environmental movement cannot succeed without engaging them – which it has largely failed to do so far.

Global Cool has created innovative climate change campaigns and content that promote green behaviour without alienating ‘Now People’. We have done this by:

- Focusing on the benefits of green behaviours; making them fun and positive: ‘Now People’ don’t like being told what to do, nor do they respond to data-driven reasoning. The Al Gore approach to communicating climate change issues could not be more alienating for a Now Person.

- Using relevant language and tone of voice: Global Cool does not talk about data or science. In fact, we avoid the words ‘climate change’, ‘global warming’ and ‘carbon emissions’ at all costs. Instead we focus on promoting specific green behaviours.

- Associating green behaviours with subjects they are interested in: We use fashion, music, celebrity, travel and other topics ‘Now People’ are interested in to promote green behaviours.

- Offering practical solutions: ‘Now People’ are aware that climate change is a problem but they don’t know what they can do about it. They feel alienated by most climate change comms. Global Cool makes green behaviours easy as well as fun.

Has it worked?

Our impact data suggests we are persuading people to change their behaviour: after our home energy campaign in 2010 the number of people who said they would consider wearing trendy knitwear in order to turn their heating down increased from 12% to 18%. Our research also shows that we are reaching the right people. In fact, 80% of our audience were identified as being ‘outer directed’ (the broader values mode group that includes ‘Now People’). And that we’re continuing to grow too: our online reach has increased from 37,000 to 77,000 per month, with around 10% demonstrating engagement with our ideas.

We hope that our approach demonstrates that it is possible to create consumer-facing comms that effectively use the values mode approach to deliver green messaging and, more importantly, to influence people’s behaviour in order to reduce carbon emissions. Nevertheless, we are interested to know your thoughts on our approach and ideas for improving it…

Read more about our theory of change

Read more about our impact results

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Global Cool’s new website

Monday, July 5th, 2010 | Global Cool | 2 Comments

GC home pageWe launched a redesigned website for the Global Cool campaign couple of weeks ago.

The old website had been in existence for around 18 months and played a crucial role in establishing Global Cool and the work we do, particularly through our campaigns.

But Global Cool is a rapidly evolving organisation. We are constantly reassessing how we can best use the tools at our disposal to reduce carbon emissions.

In recent months we have been trying to get better at continuing to talk with our audience (or our friends as we prefer to call them) about our key messages – public transport, flight-free holidays, home energy use and recycling – once an initial campaign period is over.

To do this, we have turned the Global Cool website into an online magazine, moving away from the more traditional campaigning/charity website set-up. A magazine site not only allows us to carry several strands of content in addition to the main campaign, it also better reflects the needs and interests of our users.

All of Global Cool’s work is built on the notion that ‘Now People’, the segment of society we target, are not interested in climate change, and that the only way to get them to change their behaviour is to market climate-friendly behaviours to them in the same way as the commercial world does. Therefore it makes sense for us to carry our message via a medium that Now People recognise: a fun magazine site that talks about fashion, music, travel, sport, gadgets and lifestyle, rather than a charity website that talks about climate change, global warming and carbon.

The changes we have made to the website also reflect feedback from our audience via our surveys and focus groups. We hope that the new site will inspire more people to be greener by providing a richer experience for people who reach us whether through search engines or via our social media, PR and experiential activity.

You can visit the new Global Cool site here and we welcome any feedback in the comments below.

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We run Global Cool, the only online magazine in the UK truly inspiring the mainstream to live greener

We create content about music, fashion, celebrity and lifestyle trends. We use this content to inspire people normally turned off by climate change to lead greener lives. We reached more than 200,000 people in 2011 and we don't preach to the converted. In fact, 93% of our audience say we are the only green organisation they engage with.

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