The Good, the Bad and the Hairy 🥸 Plus, can canines smell a rat?

According to his Human, my pal Kobe is a high-energy Dog. Being a Kelpie cross, he needs room to run. 

He was a rescue dog and came with a profile which called out his traits, so his potential owners could understand the good, the bad and the hairy about Kobe.

Sadly, many pound dogs have been mistreated or abandoned and may have one or a few hairy habits. So, dog pounds often create a profile for each pup to ensure a good match between human and pooch.

Many humans have a list when searching for a dog of the house, e.g. apartment friendly, non-shedding. But knowing the habits of a dog that may need some work or simply love and acceptance gives pooch and humans the best chance for the best fit for life.

It got me thinking about grocery lists; when humans go to the supermarket, they choose between oodles of products in each aisle.

But the labels on the product aren't much of a profile. So humans don't know what they are getting (or affecting) with their purchases.

Product labels usually only state the (self-proclaimed) good stuff and use superlatives like 'Tastiest tomato sauce', 'Healthiest nuts' and 'Purest coconut water'.

No mention of the bad or hairy stuff.

But what if labels did state the bad stuff and claimed their cost to the planet?

Would that change the way humans shop?

Eco-labelling is a step in the right direction. An increasing number of environmental labels, such as Eco-Score, Planet-Score and a new labelling scheme developed by Foundation Earth, are entering the market to provide consumers with a product credibility system.

We talked about choice architecture and nudging previously.

What if we nudged one step further and arranged the supermarket aisles according to the bad or hairy traits of products?

Maybe something like this:

Aisle 1 – Habitat Destruction

Aisle 2 – Chemical Pollution

Aisle 3 – Harms non-humans

Aisle 4 – Harms humans

Aisle 4 – Soil Degradation

Aisle 4 – Deforestation

Aisle 5 – Ocean Acidification

Frequent Flyers in the fruits and vegetable section would be labelled too.

Miles by trucks, trains and planes would be clearly displayed to let humans know precisely how far their carrots have travelled and which mode of transport they hitched a ride on.

It makes you wonder if we are ready for an Aisle 6 - products that actually follow Earth First Principles.

Imagine a world where all brands are racing to genuinely claim 'The Planet's No. 1 Supporter!'

 

DID YOU KNOW?

There is a word describing the shameless, self-proclaimed, and unprovable praise brands heap upon their own products.

When you read a product label that states ‘World’s No. 1 (insert product here)…’ this is a vague marketing technique called ‘Puffery’.  

Next time you browse the aisles of your supermarket, you might notice that puffery oozes from the shelves; how effective these baseless claims can be on consumers might surprise you!   

 

    ANDRE HUNTS DOWN THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

    'Andre, I'm sure my dog Fido knows when I'm lying.  And, I'm a little tired of hearing about all these companies that greenwash.  So, why can't we dispatch dogs to sniff out all the lies?' 

    You could be onto something! Dogs are clever critters and help humans to sniff out all kinds of stuff, from explosives to cancer to the poop of endangered species. 

    So, from my POV, I'd love to see doggos dispatched to company boardrooms on the hunt for lies. 

    I know plenty of mutts that would sign up to assist humans in a Greenwashing Task Force.

    But before we plot raids of corporate headquarters and send in furry lie detectors, I should mention that it's been up for debate if doggos can tell the truth from a tale.  

    Does your dog know when you are lying? Well, a promising experiment by a team of researchers at the University of Vienna shows pooches might know when humans are not being honest. 

    We could be a step closer to our canines being deployed to fact-check a company's claim on all things green.

    Best to think twice before telling a fib to Fido!

    THE DIRT WORTH ROLLING IN...

    • Social Media Sludge; brands greenwashing en masse  {link}
    • Send in the furries! Dogs as our ultimate detectives  {link}
    • Style Guide; popular brands get a medieval makeover {link}

     

    HUMANS WHO PLAY NICE WITH THE PLANET®

    Glimpse is a talent pool of creatives championing their creativity in planet-positive ways. They cleverly created 'The Brief Sabotage Handbook', which offers imaginative advice to those faced with working on a brief from fossil fuel clients.

    But this handbook has far more reach than just fossil fuel clients, as it delivers delightful tips on decimating briefs intended to greenwash. 

    It would make the perfect coffee table book.   

    Glimpse is the perfect cohort to create a manual for the Greenwashing Task Force we spoke of earlier, complete with lie-detecting pooches!

      

    That's all for this month.  I'm off to the supermarket to find a treat from Aisle 6! 

    See you in May.

    Howling out,
    Andre

     Get to the bottom of our monthly newsletter quiz, and we will throw you 20% off  - Sign up here