The PSA phrase “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle” comes to mind in reviewing the “Case Study Exploring a Message Framing Strategy” in sustainable behavior. While the article points out that; “strategically framed mediated communication of sustainable consumption provides a key method for enhancing public understanding of sustainable consumption, in sustainable behavior change”, knowing, is unfortunately only a small part of the battle.
I’ve wondered why it is that advertisers have an easy time (well, with seemingly unlimited money) creating advertisements that can manipulate an entire populace, with such success that has lead us to the over-consumption culture of our modern day society. In contrast, if those who aim to increase sustainable consumption had millions of dollars to throw at emotional and psychological driven sustainable consumption advertising, would that be as effective in curbing consumption as traditional advertising has been on getting us to buy stuff that we don’t need?
The article briefly touches upon Community Based Social Marketing, which suggests, as the article points out, information campaigns have not been proven to be very effective methods for sustainable behavior on their own. CBSM instead includes a multi-faceted approach to sustainable behavior change by using environmental psychology as the basis for targeting behaviors, selecting barriers and benefits, and finally developing strategies, which would include in part developing messaging and possible use of alternative media.
Though proven to drive results, the complexity and cost associated with CBSM strategies can certainly leave one with a David v. Golliath feeling in the attempts to win the minds, hearts and behaviors of individuals in terms of consumerism. I for one, think it’s an exciting arena and I am incredibly eager to continue exploring the effectiveness of a wide range of possibilities in communications to ignite sustainable behaviors.