How telling green campaign stories draws out empathy in our audience
· Stories are satisfying as they involve a beginning a middle, and an end.
· They help the audience identify with the characters and their situations.
· Stories play a dual role: conveying information whilst also arousing an emotional response, but the story-telling keeps the information at the general audience’s level of understanding
· Stories aren't laden with facts! This is ideal where the audience aren’t receptive to lists and tips, facts and moral strictures!
· With stories, we can raise the characters up to hero-status, which makes the audience think: I want to be that person, I want to do and be like that person (mirror neurons).
. Stories work really well with children (and those of us still in the process of growing up!) Weren't we like sponges - soaking up new stuff when we were children, and story-telling allows us to drop our guards, and be right-brain receptive. Stories work in inspiring environmental change as they arouse sympathy, as well as making sustainability fun, working on our sub-conscious minds and ultimately building up trust, empathy and purpose to convert to action.
Green marketing, fitness, kids, allergies, Vitamin D, walking to school, fun outdoors and everything but the kitchen sink
Today on the news in Melbourne, and in recent months there have been studies revealing a link between low vitamin D levels in children and allergies developed at a very young age. Gone are the days when you'd let your baby crawl amongst the bugs and beetles and imbibe a snail or two (what I'd call being a 'locavore' taken to its enth degree).
Human genes and our DNA don't change so swiftly and the studies reveal that critically higher rates of allergies must be caused by environmental factors. My unprofessional opinion has tended to be that we must be keeping our homes too clean (all those anti-bacterial agents galore, but not so much in my case!) but it now seems that allergies have more to do with how much time we spend outdoors, or the amount of vitamin D in our foods.
If so, this is a boon for green marketers and social marketers. They are after all trying to promote their products and lifestyles which often correlate with habits which are better for the planet as well ......... healthy outdoor living in the garden, bide riding, walking to school). From a green marketing point of view, these findings have even broader implications for the ways we promote our green and healthy lifestyle campaigns conjointly. Yet another campaign route to get the kids off the computer and away from the TV, and out using the play and gardening equipment or bike you bought for them, watering the vegies, walking to school for those 15 minutes of vitamin D they need.
But our campaigns have to be deployed cleverly. The usual message - thou shalt do x or else isn't working, in the modern world. Depending on the ways social marketers promote these campaigns, it remains to be seen whether parents will prefer to flick the switch - or to simply keep adapting to changing dietary needs!
Here is a link to an interesting article on the ways we shout our slogans and campaigns from the treetops! The main premises in this article are grounded both in scientific research and I think common sense!
This is a link to an old post on here about the topic of making sustainability fun for kids, and those of us (such as myself) who are very much in touch with their inner child.
There have been quite a few comments made by the public so thought I'd create a link to this post which I wrote last year.
At our Get Eco-Creative exhibition last weekend there was a theme running through: river and acquatic health and the ways our green messages can be conveyed in relation to this theme. So it is time to get back in to the serious business of the day, and talk about some more seriously inspiring environmental videos which also have a major bearing on river/sea environments.
Two names bubble, foam and spring to mind: Shark Girl and Mission of Mermaids.
You can also see my blog where I provide plenty of stimulating discussion about fertilisers, pathogens, engine oil and the like and how these impact on river and sea species (are you still awake? No I actually try to write the blog in a way so that the material is kept 'hale and hearty' as far as possible. )
Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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