Start Up Blog

Greenpeace vs Kitkat

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 20, 2010

Greenpeace recently launched a public awareness advertising campaign. The campaign was fairly hard hitting, but it wasn’t generic, it was brand targeted. The campaign aimed at Nestle, who they claim makes their chocolate with Palm Oil. The issue with Palm Oil is that much of it is produced in areas which risk local orangutan populations.  The advertisement is below – it comes with a warning for those with queezy stomachs.

It’s interesting not because the advertisement is so hard hitting, but rather that Nestle got it removed from youtube based on a ‘brand copy right’ infringement. They said it infringed the kitkat brand trademark. The beauty of the internet is that nothing can truly be banned. It will just bubble up somewhere else, like Vimeo in this case. In addition Nestles corporate strategy of removing it, only fueled the fire and cause it to be shared around and had the opposite of the desired effect.

Big companies will have to realize that they can’t hide stuff anymore. That we will pay more for ethical products. Now that we all have access to information distribution we have as much power as they do on important issues.

What does this mean for startups? Well it means we can play against the big guys. We have a palce for our voice if our dialogue is important enough. If our startup wants to create positive change. Maybe our launch strategy (gourment fair trade local chocolate company?) can spread the truth on the large corporate evil (enemy competitor) to grow their more earth friendly brand?

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One Response

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  1. Ian said, on March 21, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Yep, that would the the Streisand effect. The harder you try to suppress it the more it gets out. Much better to have a dialogue with your customers in the open. Most people wont care so why not work with those who do so they can be a voice for your group instead of against it (or at least agree to disagree).

    Sending in the lawyers wont be cheap and isn’t going to help the perception of their side of the argument.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect


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