Appliance maker Haier America is taking the time between Earth Hour (which happened last weekend) and Earth Day on April 22 to launch a social media/awareness effort around the environment.
As part of the nearly month-long program, Haier has launched a microsite, www.smarterlifebetterplanet.com, which will feature a new video featuring an environmental advocate or expert every day. In the videos, each of which is less than two minutes long, the participants challenge consumers to do something small every day to help the environment.
In one video (posted on March 29), Micki Krimmell, CEO of NeighborGoods, explains what her company does (it encourages neighbors to register and share the oft-unused power tools they may have) and challenges each person to inventory their power goods, sign up with NeighborGoods, invite three neighbors to do the same and "see what happens." (Other challenges included researching the tax breaks that may come with hybrid cars, and replacing harmful products, such as a Styrofoam cup, with less harmful products, such as a ceramic cup.)
The idea was born out of Haier America's parent company, China-based Haier Inc.'s participation in Earth Hour, says company representative James Liess. (The first video featured Andy Ridley, the executive director of Earth Hour, encouraging people to participate in the global product to turn off all electric appliances for an hour on March 26, the same day the video appeared.)
"[Haier Inc.] let us know they were taking part in Earth Hour and we were looking for a way to continue the effort from there," Liess tells Marketing Daily. "Hopefully, we can continue this as our corporate social responsibility effort. We haven't been able to do that in the United States and we saw this as an opportunity to do that."
The hope is that even after Earth Day, the site will become a hub for green ideas and create a community of people interested in helping the environment, he says. Ideally, some of the company's other partners, such as Energy Star, will also be encouraged to participate, Liess says.
To attract consumer interest, Haier America is working with Boston-based agency 4Goodmedia (which also found the video participants and shot the video) on generating grassroots support through social media, Twitter and email.