NBC Green Week – Really?

Well, they had it coming.  Last week, NBC Universal (owned by GE) declared it Green Week on the network, an effort within its larger Green is Universal campaign.  Before this week, I just brushed it off as yet another big company jumping on the bandwagon of using green to market themselves as hip, cool, forward thinking and innovative.  Then they launched Green Week.  And the jokes began.  This is in fact the network’s 3rd year of doing a Green Week where, as one late night talk show host jabbed, “they ask everyone to go green by watching TV!”

Well, there’s more to it than that but aside from the message they are trying to spread, the campaign is riddled with greenwashing and overuse of the term green in general.

On the Green is Universal home page, their backdrop features cute little sayings like

Green lives here

Green connects here

Green shops here

Wait, what?  Green shops here?  What the hell does that mean?

If that isn’t asinine enough, try clicking through their “Make Green Count” section where they suggest – wait for it – turning off your computer to save energy.  Oh, and the lights.  Also, use reusable water bottles!  OMG revolutionary.  You mean if I turn OFF my lights, it will save energy?  WHY HAVE I NEVER BEEN TOLD THIS BEFORE?

Oddly enough, they never suggest turning off the television to save energy.  But then if you did that, you would miss all of the little green messages being broadcast through popular shows like 30 Rock and The Office.  So really the message here?  Watch TV – save the planet!  That seems like an environmental platform even conservatives could rally behind.

Maxim Magazine had the best attempt at broadcasting the ironic hilarity of NBC Universal’s promotion of green.  Enjoy:

The tree is my favorite part.

The lesson here is: If you really aren’t green at all, please don’t vomit the word out of every orifice of your company.  You’re rendering the term completely useless and doing nothing real to help the environment.  And it’s 2009 – you can’t fool us anymore.  We have the Google.

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter