Monday, March 3, 2008

LOHAS Advertising and the Marketers Dilemma

--Feature: "Consumption Junction w/John Rooks"--

For years, the dominant thought in marketing to the LOHAS consumer these days was that “Advertising” doesn’t “work on them.” LOHASians don’t like to be marketed to, so it doesn’t work. So they say. There was a sense that they were smarter than that, could see through the greenwashing and like to “self-educate.” So advertisers decided to trick them into self-educating themselves.

But no one likes to be told what to do. No one likes to be “sold” anything. So, I don’t believe it.

I think a more true statement is “LOHASians don’t like bad advertising.” They don’t like stupid messages that talk down to them. They can’t, for example, buy into GE’s Ecomagination campaign. But, that wasn’t for LOHASians, was it? Was it?

Marketing to LOHASians is easy. Marketing to LOHASians and the Mainstream at the same time is tough. Maybe impossible. The messages are different.

Mainstreamers are late comers, they need different information, they are not inspired by education or “what’s next” but by “what’s now.” Mainstreamers are perhaps more interested in the “brand of being green” - like GE - more than the core culture changing aspect of it.

For advertisers, the questions becomes: how do we create authentic messages of deep resonance to keep the choir engaged, and at the same time soften the green edge for the mainstream?

*Consumption Junction is a feature column focusing on culture, advertising and the ethical consumer written by John Rooks. John is the President of DWELL Creative, a progressive advertising and marketing agency voted one the Top 25 agencies by LOHAS Journal.

1 comment:

Evan said...

Straight advertising probably doesn't work terribly well with anyone.

It probably doesn't work well with LOHASians because they are a smaller group not targeted.

We all hate being sold.

What does this mean for someone hoping to earn money from blogging (me). That I provide useful content and value laden products. Making friends rather than marketing and selling - we are all adult enough to know that I need to make money to live. People don't need to be told this.