When it Comes to Environmental Sustainability, Coke is It! Or is it?


In yesterday's Ad Age online, Michael Bush reports on Coke's new 10 million dollar campaign on "sustainable well-being", including not only environmental sustainability but "well-being from a mental, physical, community and environmental perspective that encompasses every part of our North American business," according to a spokesperson from Coca Cola.

An upcoming ad will tell consumers that Coke will continue to address their tastes and needs through new products and offerings, and directs them to a website, coca-cola.com/learnmore, for information on its "latest innovations." Creative was handled by Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett; Chandler Chicco Agency is managing public relations.

This campaign has a chance at some real success, especially in reaching the rapidly growing market of people who list environmental sustainability and eco-friendly corporations as a priority. The challenge, though, is not just talking about how "green" Coke is, but truly backing it up with responsible corporate practices. It is very easy to talk a big game- especially when you're as giant a company as Coca Cola is- but it is far more difficult to truly back it up. If I walked into a Coke plant or office today, would I find recycling bins in every room? What about their trucks- are they eco-friendly?

Ultimately, it's questions like that which will be answered, not just by me, but by all of us, who in turn will spread the word, to determine if this campaign succeeds. Imagine that- a $10 million dollar tv and print campaign may make quite an impact- but when people see if it's for real- or not- then the word will truly spread, one way or the other, good, bad, ugly, or a little or everything.