Marketing | Environment | Culture

Category: Environment (Page 3 of 5)

environment, nature, outdoors, hiking, sustainability

Shinrin-yoku: Take a Forest Bath

I’m a huge fan of the Trust for Public Land. Back in the Fall/Winter 2013 edition of Land & People, I took in Katherine Ozment’s “Last Family in the Woods,” the title of which is a play on Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.”

In the piece, Ozment runs through “a growing body of evidence” that makes clear “exposure to nature is an essential component of human health and well-being” (p 34 here).

One of the concepts shared was that of shinrin-yoku, Japanese for “forest bath.” Continue reading

Start to Finish: A Colorado Landscape Painting by Tracy Felix

Four years ago, I discovered the work of Tracy Felix, a Colorado-based artist who’s lived in the San Luis Valley, Colorado Springs, and Manitou Springs and now resides in Denver.

Here’s the blog post about a Pikes Peak painting at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum: click here.

We connected directly when I reached out to share that blog post with him. Here’s a quick follow up: click here.

I also ran into his work at the Denver Art Museum: click here.

I was incredibly pleased to learn that one of my photos of The Three Apostles from this Huron Peak summit hike photo set inspired a painting of his.

The Three Apostles by Ethan Beute (photo) & Tracy Felix (painting)

Three Apostles, Huron Peak, Collegiate Peaks, Colorado, mountain, mountains, photo, painting, Ethan Beute, Tracy Felix
Continue reading

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Neither Charity Nor Philanthropy

I enjoy following Reason & its Editor in Chief, Nick Gillespie. I often agree with and appreciate their takes and observations.

Reason’s Slogan: “Free Minds & Free Markets”

And while it hammers the obvious point that an unprofitable business can serve no one in the long run, a recent Gillespie piece published by Time misses a critical aspect of CSR (corporate social responsibility).

Editorial’s Title: “Dear Apple and Chipotle: It’s Hard To Be Socially Responsible When You’re Dead” (story here)
Continue reading

Dow Chemical Video: Corporate Communication & Community Contrast

Note off the top: this post is one of only two that ties together the themes of this blog – marketing, environment, and culture (only other one was about Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh).  Now, on to the post …

Dow Chemical Company
.  Do you associate the name with nature, harmony, connectedness, or humanity?

No?  Then you need to see this absolutely beautiful production from 2006 (posted to YouTube by DowChemicalCompany):



When I encountered this gorgeous production and its sweeping message, I was instantly fascinated with the idea of a global chemical company issuing this message.

Some of the intended takeaways:

  • Chemistry is natural
  • Nature is beautiful
  • Nature is clean and safe
  • Chemistry is clean and safe
  • Humans are nature
  • We’re all connected
  • Dow is human
  • Dow cares about people

In summary: trust Dow Chemical because they care about you and what they’re doing is healthy, safe, and consistent with nature.

Clearly, Dow, whose vision is “To be the most profitable and respected science-driven chemical company in the world,” obviously hopes viewers get swept up in the glossiness – and they do.  The comments below the video are incredibly and overwhelmingly positive.

Not everyone, however, is buying this expensive piece of corporate communication from the company who still claims that Agent Orange, one of its products, was not harmful.

I don’t have time to parse the necessarily troubled history of a massive chemical company, but I expect – and fairly – that this was a counter-press against some negative headlines.

Which brings us to the synthetic, abnormal, dangerous, and toxic aspect of Dow Chemical.

Here’s the same audio bed with new video (posted to YouTube by ForBhopal):



Members of the Dow stakeholders community have created quite a contrast to the original video.

Here’s a contrasting website (one of many):

Here’s a contrasting book:  Trespass Against Us: Dow Chemical and the Toxic Century


So What?
More voices, more publication, more sharing – this is a great time to be alive!

This corporate vs community contrast must always be kept in mind.  Corporate happy talk doesn’t fly like it used to.  I tend to believe my friends and neighbors more than I believe a global operation whose incentives tend to be short term and whose moral obligations are to shareholders above stakeholders.

The Dow homepage reminds me very much of the final video in this previous post about the BP disaster; I think it’s the smiling, colorfully-suited workers.


“Live It Up” Follow-Up: Colorado Springs as “The Natural Fit”

When the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau removed the new logos and video from and disabled public viewing on YouTube, it broke (slightly) my previous post about the Live It Up campaign.

Wishing I’d used KeepVid a week ago, I searched for it elsewhere online.

I didn’t find the Live It Up video, but I did learn that Colorado Springs is “the natural fit” for my family vacation, sporting event, or business conference!

Give a look to this video posted to YouTube in January 2011 by VisitCOS (the same folks who brought you (then took away) Live It Up):



Well, OK!  Nature moves to the fore and extends into lifestyle.

Let’s give a quick evaluation, primarily in terms relative to the Live It Up video you can no longer see.

A few positives:

  • shows off the natural beauty better than Live It Up
  • includes aerial shots and jib shots that immediately provide more production value than Live It Up
  • includes active shots that make the place feel far more alive than Live It Up
  • hits several major local institutions and phenomena missed by Live It Up (Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Open Space, Paint Mines Interpretive Park, USOC, AFA, Broadmoor, Hill Climb, Balloon Classic, Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, etc.)
  • gives Colorado Springs a one-of-a-kind feeling by definition
  • touches on regional history and connects it to present

A few negatives:

  • the music and voice are a bit too slow (don’t convey enough energy)
  • tries to do too much, selling to families, sporting events, business conventions (should be three separate 1:20 videos)
  • frequent discrepancies between the words being said and the video being shown (need to SWAP – sync words and pictures)
  • awkwardly abrupt ending (especially in comparison to the long :30 fade out on Live It Up)


The Bottom Line

As a slogan, The Natural Fit isn’t any more the answer than Live It Up; either would work fine and neither would work distinctively.

As a video, The Natural Fit feels more alive, rugged, vibrant, and exceptional than Live It Up.  It does a much better job of showing that living means doing – rather than simply saying it repeatedly and in different ways.

Live It Up would certainly have benefited from extensive re-use of shots seen in The Natural Fit.  Related: The Natural Fit could benefit from the skate park shots from Live It Up.

Both videos would convey more life and energy through quicker, more contemporary music, snappier sound from the voiceover artist and other speakers, and a higher cadence overall.


The Bonus Links: 

See more vintage Colorado Springs video rounded up by KRCC (Radio Colorado College).

Read the solid, relatively transparent view into the Live It Up branding process by the CVB.

Check out my initial post about the Live It Up campaign here at

Phone Books: Legal Spam

We’ve got “do-not-call” registries.  We’ve got CAN-SPAM.  And we’ve still got tons (hundreds of thousands of tons) of phone books being dumped upon us.  I don’t propose that it be illegal, but I am frustrated by the incredible waste of resources it represents.

Here’s the latest in legal spam; it greeted me upon my return home from work tonight.

Spam Unsolicited Mail Yellow Pages Book

Thanks for the spam, Verizon.

It’s not quite irony, but there’s something funny about their QR Code pitch to download their app.  Really?  You had to print, bag and deliver door-to-door an unsolicited pitch to download your app?  No better way to reach me with that message!?

To those of you hoping to eliminate unsolicited messages of all kinds, here is a wonderful resource from (based in Longmont, Colorado).  It’s a collection of links to online forms to remove yourself from lists.

And to those businesses still paying tens of thousands of dollars each year for magnets, covers, inside covers and back covers … I recommend this.  (Exception: if the primary demographic you’re hoping to reach is something like adults 60+, then the phone book might be a great place to invest)


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