It’s a catastrophe waiting to happen”( Greenpeace, 2014b). Climate change can be a nebulous and esoteric problem that the public feel increasingly helpless to do anything about (Nordhaus and Shellenberger, 2009), but by focussing on a specific aspect, with a specific enemy, Greenpeace are providing people with an avenue for tangible action and results. Greenpeace previously used this knowledge in a successful campaign called ‘Stop Esso’ that impacted the social credibility of Exxon Mobil (Esso) and caused negative consumer perceptions about the company in regard to the issue of climate change (Gueterbock, 2004).
It’s a catastrophe waiting to happen”( Greenpeace, 2014b). Climate change can be a nebulous and esoteric problem that the public feel increasingly helpless to do anything about (Nordhaus and Shellenberger, 2009), but by focussing on a specific aspect, with a specific enemy, Greenpeace are providing people with an avenue for tangible action and results.
The campaign is concerned with climate change in general and the shrinking Arctic, but also more specifically with the plans of oil companies to drill in the Arctic. Everything is not awesome about Greenpeace’s assault on Lego.
According to Greenpeace, the harsh conditions and remoteness would mean “an oil spill would be almost impossible to deal with.
Oil companies are now well known for their poor environmental credibility, so environmental campaigns need new ways to bring attention to specific issues.
LEGO is a much-beloved toy company, and Greenpeace hoped that by linking LEGO directly to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans they could damage LEGO’s environmental credibility.
LEGO has had a partnership with Shell since the 1960s that saw LEGO toy sets branded with the Shell logo distributed from Shell petrol stations in several countries.
Instead of targeting Shell for its plans to drill in the Arctic, Greenpeace targeted LEGO for its partnership with Shell.
While traditional guerilla marketing campaigns aimed at selling products focus on the element of surprise and unconventional techniques, Greenpeace’s campaign style could be more closely compared to guerilla warfare, composed of a series of ambushes and sabotages (Creative Guerrilla Marketing, 2015).
For example, a band of Greenpeace activists descended on a LEGO factory in the Czech Republic and decorated it with a Shell logo and an oil spill with giant unhappy minifigures (LEGO characters) cleaning it up. Affective Political Marketing Online: Emotionality in the Youth Sites of Greenpeace and WWF.
Later, activists appeared outside LEGO’s headquarters in Denmark with a series of giant bricks representing the signatures of petitioners to stop the partnership between LEGO and Shell. International Journal of Learning and Media, 2(1), pp.39-54. Comment on Greenpeace campaign and the LEGO® brand.
Greenpeace’s global reach and local bands of enthusiastic demonstrators allow it to run campaigns multinational companies can only dream of; they can produce targeted marketing stunts quickly and a little cost.