01/05/2007
Jeans Company Uses Global Warming as Marketing Tool
Students and faculty have mixed emotions about an ad campaign released by the Diesel clothing company. The ads feature women in summer apparel surrounded by environmentally destroyed terrain and are stamped with the tag line, "Global Warming Ready."

"I think it's wrong," says CM freshman Karlene Yozwiak. "They shouldn't be making light of something that can negatively impact us in the future."

The popular clothing company, whose current slogan reads "Diesel shows you how to keep cool when planet Earth gets hot," targets youth consumers with trendy, eye-catching clothing often displayed on runways during fashion week.

"They're trying to belittle a problem," says CM freshman Mike Terlesky. "Maybe uneducated people will be tricked into buying the clothes."

John Mellon, director of CM's marketing program, says the campaign makes sense from a business perspective. Mellon is also a member of the Sierra Club, whose motto is "Explore, enjoy, and protect the planet."

It's in the Shock

"The goal of marketing is to grab consumers' attention and educate them," says Mellon. "People might look twice at the brand because they believe in the cause."


An important strategy in marketing is partnership, according to Mellon. Though teaming up with a cause has worked well for many different companies, the strategy has become trendy. Consumers display name-brand clothing along with causes they support, which seems charitable.

by Sarah Hite


Despite mixed reactions, one fact is unavoidable: the ads spark an emotional response from viewers. As reported by the Washington Post, the Diesel Company has a long line of darkly humorous ads. These new ads seem to be pushing the envelope as they have appeared in widely read fashion magazines such as Glamour and Vogue.


The Post reported that Diesel's creative team strives to create a "bigger shock" and perhaps make consumers think more about the topic since awareness of global warming has grown as a result of Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth."


Diesel also stands by the dark humor that is associated with the company. It offers tips about how to save the environment "without changing my glamorous lifestyle." This includes having sex rather than turning on the heat to stay warm in the winter.


The company's past ads have contained similarly tongue-in-cheek messages like smoking 145 cigarettes a day to achieve a "sexy cough" and drinking urine to stay young.


Diesel's website also encourages visitors to purchase copies of Al Gore's film and offers redirection to global warming prevention sites, but the company will not make any monetary donations.
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