Greenpeace has been busy.
The campaign, (which urges Apple to create greener products and reduce its use of toxic chemicals), makes use of all the newest, latest, coolest web 2.0 trends and popular emerging online channels (social bookmarking, Technorati, YouTube, StumbleUpon, blogging, tagging, etc.), as well as a fantastically designed campaign microsite (www.greenmyapple.org), which looks shockingly like Apple's popular website.
The underlying reason why this campaign works is because it uses just the right tone and media to address its target audience. The campaign is directed at people who love Apple, (the tag line being "I love my Mac/iPod/etc., I just wish it came in green"). The objective is clearly to mobilise this group to persuade Apple to improve its environmental record. Die-hard Apple users are more likely to be technologically savvy - so they can handle a cutting edge web campaign.
Visually mimicking Apple's website is a bold move, which adds strength to the campaign:
- It creates a "buzz" - getting people talking about "the spoof Apple site"
- It allows the microsite to benefit from Apple's proven web usability (after all, the real Apple site is highly usable, well used and well liked)
- Finally, it enables the viewer to understand the message immediately - the campaign is obviously about Apple products.
The campaign is also supported by its effortless viral aspect, which utilises the latest social media trends. For example, anyone who mentions the campaign in their blog will see their post on the campaign website www.greenmyapple.org/buzz (via a Technorati feed).
User-generated content is featured in the section called proCreate, where motivated activists and Apple fans can create campaign T-shirts, videos, animations, games, etc., the best of which are also displayed on the site:
The thing that struck me about this campaign is something I hadn't considered trying before. Whenever an online campaign is launched the organisation or agency will monitor results by searching different areas of the web to see whether there has been an impact. But, as we all know, Google News alerts only go so far. If the campaign is discussed in the blogosphere or other social media channels we may or may not find out, depending on how it is tagged, or where it occurs.
Greenpeace's campaign has taken a proactive approach. By encouraging people to use a proscribed tag ("greenmyapple") and by listing recommended social media sites and actions - they already have a good idea of where to look, at what to look for.
This means that the people in charge of the online campaign can easily track and measure their results, which in turn makes their jobs easier, (probably) makes their offline counterparts jealous, and helps them champion their successes internally. As online professionals are always looking for ways to prove their "new ways of doing things", the more results they can show the better.
Whether you focus on B2C, B2B or social change, you'll recognise a good online campaign when you see one. Activist and advocacy organisations, including myself in my upcoming role, will certainly benefit from Greenpeace's innovations. It will be very interesting to see what the next evolutionary step will be.
I posted a piece about this campaign on the IABC blog last Friday, discussing it from a communicator's perspective - imagining how Apple may respond. I noticed that the IABC blog traffic spiked with Greenpeace /buzz referrals. I was very pleased to find an e-mail from Greenpeace in my inbox this morning. The web team is clearly monitoring this campaign and engaging with their audience. Once again it shows how the web is changing our profession: We can now hold conversations between campaign creators and audiences via social media. One way communication is truly dead.
So, once again, I wish Greenpeace the best of luck and kudos for such a genius digital campaign!