15 Eco Friendly Marketing Campaigns You Can Learn From

Dayana Mayfield

Dayana Mayfield

72% of US shoppers admit it’s more important than ever to buy from companies that have the same values as them. This is partly why so many companies are striving to align their brand values with a cause

And because it impacts us all, saving the environment is one of the most essential causes for both consumers and brands. 

Eco friendly marketing campaigns can directly tie your products to positive impact while appealing to customers’ wants and needs.

In need of inspiration? Check out these campaign ideas for eco friendly brands. 

1. Hyundai's challenge to Elon Musk

Hyundai put Elon Musk’s electric vehicle brand Tesla on blast by calling out the entrepreneur in their 2018 billboard introducing the Kona, their compact, fully EV SUV. Three simple words spoke volumes: “Your turn, Elon.”

What you can learn from it:

Green marketing can tend to be very soft, positive, and friendly, so it was certainly a pattern interrupt for Hyundai to use challenging and somewhat combative language. 

From what we can tell by the social media and news coverage, the billboard was well-received, and that’s probably because Elon Musk is such a troll on Twitter. If he didn’t constantly give his unbridled opinions, the billboard wouldn’t have packed the same punch. So if you’re going to go up against another company, an indirect competitor, or some other force, make sure it’s someone that your audience can rally against.

2. Silk's free eco counseling​

In one of the most unique sustainability campaigns, nut and rice milk brand Silk teamed up with arguably the most popular eco living influencer, Shelbi Storme (shelbizleee), to spread the word about Silk’s free eco anxiety counseling that they offered during Earth Day in 2021. That’s right, the brand actually allowed people to book group counseling sessions, offered by climate counselor Dr. Debbie C. Sturm.

@shelbizleee For everyone advocating for Mother Earth this Earth Day, Silk has us covered with FREE eco-counseling and other tips at SilkClimateWarriors.com #ad ♬ original sound - Shelbi Storme

What you can learn from it:

Great marketing is not just about appealing to people’s desires but solving their problems. Eco anxiety is one of the biggest struggles that environmentally conscious people face. While others are blissfully ignorant about our future, we’re painfully aware of what’s happening. Rather than offer platitudes, the brand actually dove straight to the heart of the issueno falsehoods or no fluffand brought in a professional to help. 

This is a great lesson in not avoiding tough conversations with your audience. 

3. Chevron's "Progress" commercial (bear with us here)

Watching a gas company talk about lowering carbon emissions brings up a whole host of emotions, all the way from fury to hope. But that doesn’t mean we can’t put our initial reactions aside and learn from the creative work. 

This commercial features the audio, “To make progress, we must keep taking steps forward. We believe the future of energy is lower carbon. And to get there, the world needs to reduce global emissions. At Chevron, we’re taking action, tying our executives’ pay to lowering the carbon emissions intensity of our operations. It’s tempting to see how far we’ve come but it’s only human to know how far we have to go.”

What you can learn from it:

It’s a cringey commercial for sure. The idea that Chevron might be tempted to stop and see how far they’ve come is far from laughable. 

So there are two lessons here. 

Lesson 1. Don’t overstate your “progress” or achievements.

Lesson 2. It might surprise you to hear that Chevron got something right with this commercial, but they did. They directly tied their promises to an action (incentivizing executives to lower carbon emissions). That might not be an applaudable action, but they at least backed up their claims. 

4. Ethique's shampoo bar content

Ethique responded to a comment on one of their videos, and their response post got more views than the original video did. The comment asked how someone should store a shampoo bar, which helps reduce plastic waste because there’s no plastic packaging whatsoever. In their response, Ethique showed six storage options, one of which was their own product.

What you can learn from it:

If your brand is on TikTok, pay attention to your comments. Some of your most viral posts can come from creating video responses to comments. Comments show you what your audience wants, provide easy video ideas, and can help boost your views because a comment on-screen increases watch time (the biggest factor in the TikTok algorithm).

What’s also great about this video is that Ethique provided storage options that don’t require purchase. One of the ideas was to put rubber bands around a jar lid to make a mesh for the shampoo bar to rest on. Consumers who care about eco friendly products appreciate tips that reuse and repurpose items. 

5. Patagonia's Still Committed Campaign

Patagonia is known for its bold, climate-friendly claims and actions. Their Instagram profile reads “We’re in business to save our home planet,” they have a volunteer program, and they have their own secondhand shop called Worn Wear to help customers reuse their items.

In the spring of 2022, they posted three short videos to Instagram as part of their Still Committed campaign, which highlights the fact that the company has been dedicated to responsible vertical climbing since 1972, and that their commitment to preserving the planet has only grown.

What you can learn from it:

You can’t manufacture a 50-year history. But if your brand has been eco friendly from the start, you can remind people. On your business’s anniversaries, create content that showcases your mission and impact.

Learn how 100+ brands on Shopify increased their AOV by 20% through cause-based marketing

6. Loquet's clear, on-brand "Bespoke" page

Let’s not forget that some of your best marketing happens on your website. This web page from recycled gold jewelry brand Loquet explains to customers how they can get their own totally unique charm, locket, or bracelet. The page features clear steps and examples.

What you can learn from it:

We’ve all heard that we should show and not tell. But when it comes to great landing pages, we need to do both. If you have a unique eco friendly product, spell out the differentiator very clearly alongside corresponding imagery.

7. Kodiak's content for women in construction

Kodiak, a brand of eco friendly footwear (including work footwear) has a section of their website called “What Matters,” which is full of meaningful content surrounding climate action. But what stands out to me is a video called “The Work World is Changing.” It features female construction workers’ stories about doing what they love, which is working in trades.

What you can learn from it:

We’ve all heard that we should show and not tell. But when it comes to great landing pages, we need to do both. If you have a unique eco friendly product, spell out the differentiator very clearly alongside corresponding imagery.

8. Lush's Instagram exit

It’s quite the grid. On November 26, 2021, Lush posted their last Instagram post, urging people to “be somewhere else” whether with a book, a face mask, or a cup of tea. It was all part of their social media quitting spree

At first glance, it might not seem like this is about eco friendly living, since their main reasoning was the mental health crisis caused by social media. But the brand has been offering more sustainable products than other self-care companies for decades. And when you look closer, it’s clear that this sort of against-the-status-quo action is exactly what consumers are looking for in eco friendly brands.

What you can learn from it:

You can have a successful brand without doing it all. Do what feels right for your brand, based on your core values, intuition, and vision for the future. 

By taking this stand, Lush is prioritizing mental health and sending a clear message that we all need more time away from our screens.

What message do you want to send? How can you send it?

9. Blueland's 2020 posts

Leave the “uncertain times” messaging over there, please. We’ve had enough of it. When the pandemic hit two years ago, sustainable cleaning company Blueland (which provides reusable cleaning bottles and dissolvable tablets you can mix with water) got cheeky with their Covid content much quicker than other brands did. As early as March 25, 2020, they posted relatable captions like “2020, the year we did chores for fun 👀”

The cleaning company received a massive boost of sales from germ conscious and environmentally conscious consumers. 

What you can learn from it:

Your brand voice and perspective is everything. No matter the content or topic, never forget that your audience craves your unique spin. So make sure you always bring it. 

10. Pact's trademarked slogan

“Earth’s Favorite™ Clothing” is a great slogan. Pact prominently features it on the homepage of their website, their Instagram bio, and other digital properties. Anyone who’s ever tried to write a slogan knows just how hard it is to get right, and Pact seems to have done it.

What you can learn from it:

Unlike many sustainable brands that only target young, oat-milk-drinking females, Pact is forging ahead with clothing for males, using their underwear products as a gateway drug. Their slogan is decidedly designed for everyone who cares about the earth, not just the stereotypical eco shopper. The slogan is unfussy and not too feminine. When crafting a slogan for your own eco friendly brand, keep your entire audience in mind. 

11. Tentree's usage of trending TikTok sounds

Tentree, a line of sustainable, organic cotton clothing has a dedicated TikTok content creator on their team. She makes funny, entertaining, and educational content on their clothing and wider sustainability topics. And the account often features trending sounds.

What you can learn from it:

Many brands are still afraid to jump on the TikTok bandwagon. Entrepreneurs and marketers either don’t know how the platform works and assume it takes too long to create content, or they’re concerned about maintaining their brand style with the use of other people’s audio. The good news is that it’s super easy to create TikTok content, and jumping on trends only makes things simpler. Take a page out of Tentree’s book and just go ahead and test it. 

12. Seventh Generation's new brand

With corporate responsibility baked into their name, Seventh Generation is one of the original clean cleaning brands. But their branding had grown a little stale over thirty years. The company announced a new look in April of 2022. You can watch a video of the old logo transforming into the new one here.

What you can learn from it:

Rebranding can be risky. Customers can complain about your new brand, or simply not recognize it. Keep things fresh but don’t totally undo your entire identity. Seventh Generation did a good job of updating their look but maintaining the leaf and its coloring.

13. Made Trade's well optimized Pinterest account

With 1.3 monthly million viewers on the Pinterest account, Made Trade, a line of sustainable clothing and home goods, clearly know what they’re doing. They’ve loaded their entire inventory into shoppable pins, a specific type of pin designed to help shoppers find items for purchase, not content like blog posts and YouTube videos.

What you can learn from it:

Rebranding can be risky. Customers can complain about your new brand, or simply not recognize it. Keep things fresh but don’t totally undo your entire identity. Seventh Generation did a good job of updating their look but maintaining the leaf and its coloring.

14. Pela's product launches

Pela offers sustainable and compostable phone cases that are inspired by nature. In this Instagram post, they share three new designs with landscape views.

What you can learn from it:

Make your product launches more aspirational and customer-focused by sharing what’s in it for them. In this case? Well, the phone case can serve as daily inspiration and motivation for customers to get outside. Consider how you can tie your next launch to a customer benefit and put that front and center. 

15. The shame-free space that Who Gives a Crap creates

Who Gives a Crap offers bamboo toilet paper and paper towel subscriptions. They also donate 50% of profits towards building safe and hygienic toilets in developing countries. In this Instagram post, they ask their followers a question instead of giving a tip.

What you can learn from it:

You don’t always have to talk at your audience or pretend to be an enlightened expert. Sometimes, all you need to do is hold space and make room for your community to engage with each other and share their perspective. Add this to your social media marketing strategy and watch your engagement rise. 

Eco friendly marketing campaigns look very different for legacy brands than they do for new disruptors. With these examples, you can be inspired no matter where your company falls on the spectrum.

Do you run marketing for a conscious ecommerce brand?