Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two Marketing Ploys, Two Wildly Different Ethos

The big news yesterday in the food world was McDonald's announcement that it is altering its Happy Meals. While many are focusing on the apple slices and smaller portions of French fries, let's remember that this is completely a public relations ploy aimed at protecting the company's bottom line.

Another public relations ploy—albeit one with better intentions—I came across yesterday was Seventh Generation's goal of raising $10,000 for Teach For America, which helps place young teachers in low-income areas.

I saw the promotion attached to a bottle of Seventh Generation laundry detergent, coupled with a coupon and a tie-in to the benefits of using the product: "A back to school wardrobe without optical brighteners? I'm in."

So, while a revamped Happy Meal is still junk our kids don't need, Seventh Generation is actually trying to brighten our lives, without the chemicals. More from the promotion:

"Seventh Generation laundry detergents are tough on back-to-school dirt and stains—and free of optical brighteners, the synthetic chemicals added to detergents to make laundry appear brighter and whiter than it really is. Optical brighteners don't have anything to do with getting things clean, but they can rub off on skin and may even cause a rash when exposed to sunlight. Since they're not necessary, we don't use them in Seventh Generation laundry detergents. That's a clean you can feel good about!"
The battles we fight as consumers are myriad, but know there are better products available; making one change per week makes a difference for the health of our families and society.

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