Since I last blogged, I’ve been in the US and Ukraine.

I was in Florida to Chair the 25th Social Marketing Conference. As mentioned in previous posts, the conference was plastic free – hooray! The hotel where the conference was held did a wonderful job and were very accommodating.

My husband and children came with me, and whilst there I took a few days off to do some beach cleaning with my 6 year old and we all went to ‘turtle school’ – a class to learn about turtle conservation. Our 2 year old loved pretending he was a turtle!

Turtle Fraser

There were so many wonderful keynote speakers at the conference this year. One of them was a chap who used to do marketing for the company S’well. They make fashionable water bottles which can keep your liquids cool or warm for hours. I have blogged before about the marketing concept ‘exchange’; if you want to change peoples behaviour you have to offer them something better than the benefits they get from their current behaviour, And S’well bottles do just that. They are better than plastic as they keep your water cool for 24 hours. A plastic bottle cannot do that when you are out hiking or camping!

But what I really loved about the S’well marketing was how it did not talk about the environment at all. Protecting the environment is part of the S’well vision, but as with many good marketing campaigns, they sell a feeling of freedom, friendship and sophistication, not simply a water bottle.

Here’s one of the S’well adverts.

Their advert oozes sophistication and I want to be one of those cool kids in it. I want to look like them and have a house like that, in the middle of a beautiful forest.  Sadly  I live on a 1960s housing estate in the UK, but a girl can dream!

With all the national campaigns I develop, I make sure I am ‘selling’ a lifestyle and a feeling as opposed to nutritional value, or health benefits. If we were motivated by health benefits, I would have not had a flat white coffee and a croissant for my breakfast this morning. Nor would I be eying up the chocolates someone left for me on my desk.

So what are well selling when we ask people to reduce their plastic usage or go Plastic Free for July? Yes, environmental issues will motivate the early adopters, but what about most people?

Maybe we need to start ‘selling’ plastic free as the sophisticated, sexy behaviour – maybe we need to be more S’well?

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