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INFO MAGAZINE - SEPTEMBER 2015

THE BUSINESS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Back in 1990, as the green movement first gained critical mass amongst consumers, I was involved in the development of an advertising campaign in the UK and Germany. The TV spot did not show any glossy product shots, but simply a sequence of beautiful natural and animal scenes against a soundtrack of Louis Armstrong singing ‘What a Wonderful World’. At the end, a voice-over informed viewers that cars from Vauxhall and Opel would be fitted with catalytic converters at no extra cost (rivals were charging extra for these). The campaign was an enormous success, winning a Gold EFFIE Award that year for marketing effectiveness. Vauxhall and Opel’s brand image improved dramatically and the public bought their cars in record numbers.

Since then, it has become rather less straightforward to influence consumer attitudes and behaviour.

A mixture of general apathy, changing government priorities and frustration over “greenwash” has left the public confused and uncertain about their personal roles in limiting climate change. Moreover, surely as long as the US keeps guzzling gas and China keeps burning coal, there’s little an individual citizen can do?

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