Cox, M. J. (2008). Sustainable Communication: A Study of Green Advertising and Audience Reception within the growing arena of Corporate Social Responsibility, Case Study: British Petroleum. Earth & E-nvironment, 3, 32-51. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.537.2485&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Cox outlines two main research focuses: finding the differences between a 1988 BP advertisement and a 2000 “green” BP ad, and to test the public’s perception of the two ads. Cox provides a foundation by defining green advertising as one that addresses the product/ environment relationship, promotes a green lifestyle, or represents the “corporate image of environmental responsibility.” After outlining said foundation, Cox reports the results of the focus group created for the study. Twelve A-level students were shown both ads and were asked to complete questionnaires before a group discussion. The study results show that the participants favored the green avert because it seemed more tranquil and honest, provided a connection to ideas outside the scope of the ad, and featured a new logo that seemed more associated with the environment.
Though this study was more focused on discovering how the public felt about BP in general after their supposed switch to greener business practices, I greatly appreciate Cox’s definition for green advertising and the details given on logo development. I plan on adapting the design elements that made this logo “stick,” such as the incorporation of a green and yellow color scheme and perceived movement, into the info graphic I plan to create for the Chesapeake Bay. I also think there are details represented in the results that would be beneficial when I created the interview-based video as well.
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