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Soon the war effort worked its way into popular culture, just as the green movement it doing today.
The key to a good media campaign is to use respected figures to promote the cause. Green is a rapidly growing phenomenon that has been dubbed "greenwashing" by advertisers (Makower). Lauren Zalanick, president of Bravo Media identified three key customers as the target audience of the green market. They include college grads, and the former hippies of the flower power movement (Makower). According to Makower, Zalanick revealed several plans that will be rather expensive endeavors to promote green practices within the network, such as replacing the company vehicles with hybrids and using recycled paper. This is considerable expense for something that is just a surface marketing effort to attract a larger viewer audience.
Hollywood stars such as Sheryl Crow, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz have all been outspoken their support of the green lifestyle. Green has become the "in" thing among the Hollywood elite. This further helps to embed the green movement into pop culture. Green is in the clothing that the stars wear, the foods that they eat, the cars that they drive and their public opinions. Hollywood and the mass media have made green the next status symbol.
Is it here to stay?
Fads come and go in popular culture. Some of them, such as bell-bottom pants and lava lamps, we are glad to see fade. However, the green movement is for the common good. The real question from a pop culture perspective, is if the green movement represents a lasting change in social attitude, or whether it too is a passing fad. No one knows the answer for certain, but let us examine several different factors that may influence the green movement's longevity in popular culture.
The green movement is not new, born from the flower children of the 1960s, the green movement has persisted for nearly 50 years. Not only has the green movement persisted, it has grown and caught the attention of the government and major industries. Lava lamps were never able to muster this type of support. We have seen media trends come and go, but never before has the mass media been willing to spend the amount of money that they are sinking into the green image. There is considerable capital, and thus, considerable risk in all of the changes that are being seen in order to be a part of the green movement. Companies would not be willing to spend this type of money if they did not feel that the green movement represented permanent changes in the market and societal attitudes.
A second factor in deciding whether the green movement will fade is that it has a group of scientists that are willing to sound the trumpet that changes are necessary in order to save the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed. Whether one agrees with the opinion that global warming means impending doom, or whether one agrees that it is probably paranoia, one still cannot deny the attention that the issue has received from the scientific community (Friedman). Fads typically do not receive this much government support by means of research grants.
The green movement has the backing of several large world organizations such as NATO, and the UN. Even if global warming does not turn out to be the culprit in climate changes and we are not in as much danger as it would appear, changing our ways for more efficient usage of our resources makes sense. There are two sides to the global warming issue, but only one side to whether conservation is good for the planet.
The green movement is no longer a simple case of freedom of expression. It has become the hallmark of needed societal changes. The green movement makes our businesses run more efficiently, having a positive impact on the economy. The movement means paying attention to what we put in and on our bodies, leading to better health. The green movement means revamping the way we look at inputs and outputs of society. It is difficult to support a movement that has nothing but the betterment of society and a better quality of life at its roots, even if this support is passive.
The green movement is a uniting global force. It makes us realize that we are not only members of the communities in which we live, we are a part of the larger global community. The green movement is a great equalizer in society. Everyone, whether they are wealthy or poor will be affected by the changes in the environment. We will all thrive or perish together. This is perhaps one of the most important effects of the green movement on pop culture and on society at large. Green issues bring us together as one as we strive to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
The green movement makes us aware of how our individual actions affect the world as a whole. Everyone makes a difference in the collective trends that will affect us all. The most difficult issue in the green movement is whether it represents a major marketing blitz with the sole intention to increase profits, or whether companies are sincere in their willingness to change. At the current time, it would appear that they are spending a large amount of money and taking a large risk, if they are not sincere in their concerns.
The green movement effects society on many levels. It affects it on a political front, an economic front, and on a social front as well. There is no doubt that a mass media campaign has helped to fuel the fire. There are major amounts of cash, including from the federal government being used to study what needs to be done and to convince the public that it is necessary. When one considers all of the evidence, it is difficult to call the green movement a passing fad. This time, it looks like being green has made its way into the majority and is no longer a minority issue involving a few peace-sign toting radicals. The green movement is here to stay and represents a change in popular culture that is here to stay.
Friedman, T. The Power of Green. April 15, 2007. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/magazine/15green.t.html?_r=2&oref=slogin Accessed December 2, 2007.
Koerner, B. Rise of the Green Machine. April 2005. Issue 13.04. Wired. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.04/hybrid.html. Accessed December 2, 2007.
Makower, J. NBC's 'GreenWeek': Not Business as usual. November 13, 2007. CNNMoney.com. http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/13/news/companies/makower_NBC/index.htm?postversion=2007111311 Accessed December 2, 2007.
Miller, J. We Can Do it!. Produced by Westinghouse for the War Production Co-Coordinating Committee NARA Still Picture Branch (NWDNS-179-WP-1563). www.archives.gov/exhibits/powers_of_persuasion/its_a_womans_war_too/images_html/we_can_do_it.html
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