Kicking off on April 20, the multi-day event puts a spotlight on the ways we can prevent the coming disaster of climate change – and, you guessed it – restore our earth. It’s a lofty goal, deserving of a lofty event, and that’s why Earth Day offers a big stage for many brands to stand up and take action. At this point – I would hope Reward’s stance is pretty clear: we think that brands have a moral responsibility to push for sustainable changes and a commercial responsibility to give audiences the sustainable products and services that they want. That’s why it’s important to add Earth Day to your 2021 campaigns calendar.
Number 1: Earth Day is a chance to show off your environmental ethos.
Number 2: if silence is complicity, ignoring the event is a loud exclamation that your business just doesn’t care about the planet. Not what you’d want, I hope. This year, brands have an opportunity to get creative, sharing their inspirational youth-focused campaigns, formed on the back of creative Earth Day marketing ideas.
A Generation that Cares
We don’t need a big-budget investigation to tell you that environmental action is a big issue for younger demographics.
Anyone can turn on the news and see that eco-protests are led by a passionate youth. While it’s not exactly fair that younger age groups have inherited the burden of responsibility, it’s pretty clear that they’re proactive in fighting climate change. Millennial and Generation Z campaigners know that environmental disaster is an alarm that can’t be snoozed.
According to The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), climate change is atop a list of concerns facing Millennials and Generation Z. 71% of young people see it as the biggest challenge facing their generation. It’s not just an ethical matter but a business one too. 83% of young people want brands to align with them on values, where 76% want CEOs and leaders to take a strong stance on the issues that matter most to them. About two thirds will boycott a brand that takes an opposite stance on an issue.
And as Gen Z is already on track to become the largest generation of consumers, businesses that back out of environmental awareness campaigns are on track to lose their custom.
Young Voices and Earth Day Marketing Ideas
All that said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Earth Day 2021 spotlights young voices. This year, the event begins with a global youth climate summit led by Earth Uprising, in collaboration with My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs and hundreds of youth climate activists. The global youth summit will consist of panels, speeches, discussions, and special messages with today’s youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, and Licypriya Kangujam.
Campaigns that Encourage Interaction
As Earth Day is focusing on empowering young people, your Earth Day marketing campaign ideas should also adopt a youthful stance. And what’s the number one rule when talking to younger audiences? Young people want to be talked with, not at.
Focus your marketing on creating interactions and connection points between you and your customer. Whether this takes the form of social media polls, UCG or even Instagram Story question posts, your Earth Day campaigns want to include your audience in the conversation.
Hyundai’s Dark Selfie Challenge (in collaboration with BTS) was an excellent example of a creative Earth Day marketing idea that uses UCG. The company started a challenge on its social media platforms, asking users to show themselves in the dark to shed light on climate change – simple, but effective.
Authentic – Always
What’s more is that today’s youth have a BS meter that is off the charts (this is what growing up around tech and fake news does to you). They don’t trust traditional marketing that tries to sell a solution to a made up problem. They can spot greenwashing a mile away. It’s fair to say that younger audiences assume brands are guilty until proven innocent. It’s worth connecting with young people on their terms, using the right, authentic tone of voice.
What this means is you should be funny where it counts and serious where it counts. Yes, quirky social humour with self-deprecating snapchats and memes is good. But not when you’re talking about serious matters like the planet.
So what’s the takeaway? Earth Day 2021 is celebrating and catering to the younger generation. Let your Earth Day marketing campaign ideas be led by this fact and you’ll be on to a winner.