Tide uses their product advertising to broadcast important energy conservation concepts to the masses

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 11/22/2006 - 02:00.


I recently caught the end of a TV ad that said "If we all washed in cold with Tide Coldwater, we would save enough electricity to light up homes in 1,000 towns". Now this is fascinating in many respects. Here we have a massive consumer products company, Procter and Gamble,  advertising their detergent in a way that promotes the product, but also raises environmental consciousness... I suppose this is an example of Business as an Agent of World Benefit, promoted by Case. While I'm sure Zebra Mussel can explain all the greenwashing of P&G and this product promotion, it is better to use advertising to raise social consciousness than not. Visiting the Tide Coldwater website, you see many other smart references to energy efficiency. This represents a new "tide" (pun intended) in social consciousness.

The Tide Coldwater website points out that washing in just cold water saves up to 80% the electricity over washing in warm/cold, if you have a vertical axis machine with electric water heater set at 140ºF. That is significant and, while I usually wash in cold water, now I will make certain I always do (not that I plan to buy special detergent for that... I try to buy that eco-friendly stuff). On the Tide Coldwater site, they also feature a way to pledge to wash in cold water and be entered in a drawing for a Toyota Hybrid (why not), and promote many energy efficient GE products with data on cost and electricity savings, etc.

 While I wish people were more proactive to seek out energy efficiency and environmentally sensitive practices, I know most do not. So it is essential companies promote social consciousness in every way they may. This is a good early example of mass promotion of a good environmental concept at a large scale and I hope to see much more of this in the future.

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