- Unilever's Seventh Generation household care brand is going on strike to raise awareness about climate change, closing its Burlington, Vt. offices and joining the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, according to a press release.
- As part of its support, Seventh Generation will donate its national broadcast advertising spots from Sept. 16-20, the week leading up to the strike, to the climate movement. The brand is working with environmental organization 350.org on the effort. Sustainability agency Futerra and director Rankin will donate their time to create the ad that will run during the donated air time.
- In addition, Seventh Generation will not promote products on its social and digital channels during the week of the strike and will instead put out content focused on the climate crisis. The brand is also encouraging employees to take part in the Sept. 20 march.
Conscientious marketing is on-brand for Seventh Generation, a brand whose organic products are pitched as being good for the Earth for the next seven generations and beyond. Unilever is savvy to connect its brand with the Global Climate Strike, giving Seventh Generation a way to put its values into action and avoid backlash. The CPG giant's CEO Alan Jope has warned that "woke-washing" — brands running purpose-driven campaigns, but failing to take real action — threatens to "infect" the advertising industry.
Last year Swedish student Greta Thunberg started the first Global Climate Strike, encouraging young people to take to the streets and protest global reliance on fossil fuels. Brands and agencies alike are jumping on the bandwagon by donating time and media spots to the message in a bid to connect with consumers on the issues they care about. The strike is receiving international attention and has been joined by companies including Patagonia, Lush and Ben & Jerry's.
Brands like Seventh Generation with a high sense of purpose are growing in value. Such companies have seen a brand valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years, compared to the median growth rate of 86% and the 70% growth rate for brands with a low sense of purpose, according to Kantar Consulting.