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Environmentalists need to follow brands’ lead and get ‘behaviour placement’ on screens

Monday, February 28th, 2011 | News, Our Philosophy | 1 Comment

people watching tvProduct placement hits UK TV screens today following a relaxation of the rules on television advertising. The first product to be placed will be a Nescafe coffee machine on the ITV show This Morning.

Product placement is an attractive proposition for brands because it drives people’s behaviour by normalising those actions (or products) in the eyes of the viewer.

Environmentalists need to take a similar approach in the drive to change people’s behaviour in order to prevent climate change. If we see our favourite characters in Coronation Street recycling, or see Brad Pitt riding a bike everywhere in a film, or see Simon Cowell in his mansion with solar panels in the background, we are much more likely to consider that behaviour aspirational and desirable. This type of campaigning is therefore more effective at changing behaviour than, for example, taking out posters on buses telling people how much carbon they can save by ditching their cars.

We know from our own campaigns at Global Cool that most people want to know what’s in it for them (being as cool and sexy as Brad Pitt, for example) rather than what’s in it for the planet. Does that matter? Absolutely not. Getting people to change their behaviour to reduce carbon emissions is the aim, not getting them to believe in climate change and become eco warriors. We’ll need to make taking the bus just as aspirational as driving a car, and if we need Brad Pitt’s help to do that, that’s fine.

That’s why Global Cool has recently announced a partnership with the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), who will facilitate us working with the film industry to ‘place’ green behaviours into films. This isn’t about making the production of films more green, it’s about using the film to show green behaviours, leveraging film’s power to pull large audiences which influence people’s lifestyle choices.

If it works for Nescafe then it can work for climate change too.

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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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