Enviro Group Launches Online Issue Campaign

  • by February 24, 2009
Missing MountainAs a backdrop to last year's Presidential campaign, advocacy groups for and against so-called "clean coal" began spending millions of dollars on TV ads. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, formed by utility and mining companies, has been fighting the ad wars with the Reality Coalition, made up of the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club.

Now, another environmental group has joined the anti-"clean coal" marketing fray, but with a twist--rather than traditional advertising, the Waterkeeper Alliance's campaign radiates from a new Web site,

Created by New-York based agency Mouth, the grassroots campaign includes videos and podcasts (featuring the voice of actress Gloria Reuben of "ER" and "Raising the Bar"), RSS feeds, petitions, a Facebook cause, downloadable desktops, and even a do-it-yourself guerilla outdoor campaign. On the "Make Change" section of the site, visitors can download "Missing Mountain" posters, similar to a missing child poster, to post around their neighborhoods. The poster includes a phone number that leads to a pre-recorded message with more details of



Print ads are also available for downloading via the site, and have also been accepted pro bono by such magazines as StopSmiling.

The site itself, which features a "list of lies propagated by the coal industry," is suggestive of an old carnival sideshow, but in a steam-punk, apocalyptic future.

" stands in stark contrast to other energy campaigns out here, most of which are similar to the Clean Coal campaign," writes Mouth creative director Mishele Wells in an email to Marketing Daily. " is subversive and edgy, befitting to expose a filthy, dangerous fossil fuel, like coal."

Designed to increase awareness and donations, the campaign's direction was dictated by a desire to reach a younger demo than might see traditional advertising. "They are the ones that are going to be most affected if we don't change our energy policies and the way we deal with toxic waste," Wells wrote. " is designed to talk to them directly about their future. It's a matter of speaking to consumers on their own terms, and being agile and visible enough for them to find you."

The campaign, which will officially kick off Thursday night via a private launch party in New York, is also using the power of celebrity--not only Waterkeeper Alliance chairman Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Gloria Reuben, but also Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Marcia Gay Harden and Nicole Miller.

All are expected to be at the party, which will also feature donations from such brands as Aveda, Butternut's Beer, Jose Cuervo Tradicional and Tito's Vodka.

Next story loading loading..