On Earth Day, every brand is green

If you didn’t know it before you signed onto Twitter this morning, you certainly know it now: today is Earth Day.

Tweets and Facebook posts mentioning the 40-plus-year-old holiday have been on the rise in recent years. There were a combined 895,000 of them in 2013 and 1.2 million in 2014, according to social media analytics firm Crimson Hexagon. Already in the last 24 hours there have been 221,000 posts mentioning the day — nearly 100,000 in the hour between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. EDT.

With sustainability en vogue, brands are out in full force.

Nissan, for its part, was savvy for touting its electric cars:

Tesla, another green automaker, went the humblebrag route, with a retweet of a compliment from electronica star deadmau5:

Indeed, a common refrain from brands was a near-desperate attempt at showing how much good they do for the environment. No, really! Just ask JetBlue:

And Tyson Foods, which is touting its environmental bona fides by claiming it eliminated truck delivery miles (but glossed over its less than sterling environmental record, practically everywhere else).

This brings up a significant issue. Last year, brands with horrible environmental records were flat out shameless on April 22. And as consumers become increasingly attuned to the issues of greenwashing, brands risk getting tuned out on Twitter. Do we really need today’s deluge of enviro-friendly tweets from the likes of Redbull, Cap’n Crunch, Asics, Stella Artois and Burger King?

In 2013, the number of critical posts mentioning both “greenwashing” and “Earth Day” clocked in at 140, according to Crimson Hexagon. That number may be small, but it more than doubled in 2014 to 297. Indeed, a new study by Horizon Media and social analytics firm Distillery found a drop in consumer interest and importance placed on the holiday. 

Two in 10 (23 percent) of the respondents said they will be celebrating Earth Day this year, down 5 percent from last year. More than three-quarters (79 percent) did agree the day is an “important” one, but that number is down 11 percent from the previous year.

“The mainstreaming of ‘green’ has made environmentalism more ordinary, but it has also created a savvy public more primed to dig up dirt that belies corporate intentions,” Horizon Media’s Kirk Olson wrote in a statement. “Our research suggests that as green causes proliferate, consumers expect brands to carry the financial and activist burden on their behalf.”

Be that as it may, not every brand tweet was a waste of space this morning. Here, then, is the best of the rest on brand Twitter. Domino’s went for humor and actually kind of scored.

Intel got inside, too. And scored extra geek points for referencing Moore’s Law.

Petco went cute and hit the right chord.

Leave it to NASA to remind us what the day is really about, though.

With additional reporting by Tanya Dua. Image courtesy Burger King.


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