More and more ads nowadays contain the word “green”. The world has woken up, environmental-friendly products sell, and advertisers understand that. Which is all good. But “green cars”? What is a green car?
Manfred Braunl, head of marketing in Germany for BMW, says that rather than try to impress TV viewers with ads about new fuel-saving technologies BMW is experimenting with “metaphorical” ads that aim to put viewers in a positive mood about the company and its approach to reducing fuel consumption (via Environmental leader).
And most green car ads are highly metaphorical. If a car company has developed one car that is “greener” than the others, they use this for all it’s worth to promote themself as a green and idealistic company. Like this ad for Toyota Prius.
But the good news is that there are reactions on these ads. Some days ago, Friends of the Earth told Saab to stop portraying its cars as environmentally friendlys or face legal action for misleading advertising.
In Norway, the producers of the electric car Buddy complained about these ads in April last year. What I didn’t know before today what that new guidelines were set into force in Norway in October that states that no car can be called “green”, “clean” or “environmentally friendly”. “Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others,” Bente Oeverli, a senior official at the office of the state-run Consumer Ombudsman, told Reuters.