By Meghan Tetwiler, Brand Planner @ NYCA
Last week I walked out of a strategic meeting with one of our solar start-up clients re-invigorated that what I do, to an arguably significant degree, matters.
Think about it. Advertising can fuel healthy competition and encourage progressive innovation yielding better products for consumers and society at large. Advertising done well can also bring about much needed societal shifts in peoples’ thoughts and behaviors.
A few examples to which I’m personally privy: one advertising campaign can help recognize and champion the far too often neglected and invisible mom. Another can celebrate “real beauty” across the planet instead of glorifying 21st century, computer-augmented glamour. These “do good” ad campaigns have the power to impact more than just units sold.
Clean energy advertising, from exclusively an advertising point of view, has the greatest potential to fundamentally change our world; I believe it’s what is needed to catapult alternative energy adoption to the masses.
If you are someone who stays up on advancements in sustainable innovation, then you already know alternative energy is no longer a dream for tomorrow; it is a reality for today. A recent NYCA project in the solar roofing sector validated, to me, how close we are to leading a more energy efficient existence, where the world is less reliant on finite energy resources and more empowered to be self-sufficient.
I was amazed to learn there are so many proven, and increasingly affordable, sustainable energy practices readily available in the building sector alone.
I predict somewhere down the road, cutting-edge architects and regular old homeowners alike will share my enthusiasm for integrated photovoltaic systems that blend into existing roof structures. What’s the hold up? Well, people don’t yet understand the ins-and-outs of alternative energy nor do they realize entrepreneurs have made saving the planet profitable.
I believe the groundwork for solar success is in place; sustainable technologies are constantly being encouraged by governmental incentives and there appears to be an emerging appetite for solar growing amongst a segment of “citizen consumers.” What is next needed to help transition our world into a sustainable era is widespread demand across demographics. Who can best influence consumer behavior and shape culture in a positive direction? Advertisers – those whose messages are heard by the masses.
I’ve spent over four years working in this consumer-centric industry and have become well-versed in understanding what triggers people and finding a way to position products/services in ways that have meaning. In order to ensure people embrace alternative energy completely, we must find a way to create conceptual badge value of doing good for the planet as well as find ways to fulfill the human need to reap personal gain.
It’s undeniable – advertisers have an important job to be done; we can accelerate the speed of progress toward sustainability. I look forward to partnering with alternative energy companies, making strides in growing their businesses and simultaneously taking steps in changing our world.