Government Solutions Group gives consumer brands an alternative marketing medium

Government Solutions Group (GSG) helps cash-strapped state parks hook up corporate brands to sponsor public park improvement projects, providing brands with the opportunity to demonstrate the brand’s values to its target consumers.  Below are my takeaway’s from the AdAge article that reported on the GSG and its recent partnerships with Coca-Cola, Odwall, and Juicy Juice.

Odwalla’s and Juicy Juice’s campaigns were smart and good, but Coca Cola’s achieved something even greater in terms of brand engagement.  Coca Cola’s campaign actively involved the consumer as a partner in the brand’s effort.  Such “playing on the same team” I think results in the consumer developing a deeper connection to the brand.

These campaigns make the most sense I think because they are obviously reinforcing the brand’s values, which are shared by their target audience, but the also make sense from a numbers perspective.    In sponsoring these environmental projects, the brands affect a physical space that will be visited by their target consumer for years.  Eventually the same number of eyeballs will see the work of the brand in these environmental projects as are seen in a superbowl ad, but the dollar cost will be far less as well.  For $350,000, these brands are spending far less than they would on a 30-second superbowl commercial.

Bottomline for me though is that the brand is communicating more effectively with their target market that the brand’s values are the same as those of their target consumer.


Are Non-biodegradable plastics a thing of the past?!!!

Researchers have found a fungi in the Amazon rainforest that can degrade and utilize the common plastic polyurethane (PUR) for energy.   What a thought…that after all our destructive consumption of plastic has done to hurt mother nature, that she might hold the fix to this problem!!!?     Amazing!   The fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and is uniquely able to do so in an oxygen-free environment (I’m thinking landfills).

As someone who cringes at the thought of how much plastics are being put into landfills and our environment, this is fantastically exciting news, and I want to see it implemented if it works, so I wonder about two practical matters:

  1. Can we force these fungi to consume the PUR, or–given other options–will it choose to consume other materials?   That is, if we put them in the landfill, will they choose to eat paper instead of the PURs we want them to eat?
  2. What byproduct(s) if any are produced by the fungi when it degrades/consumes the PUR; and is it good/better for the environment?

I hope the scientists have come up with great answers for these questions!!

The Yale University team of researchers have published its findings in the article ‘Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi’ for the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.