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Thursday, May. 17, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Yahoo’s New Mission: Get the 82%

By Robert Gorell
May 17th, 2007

Yahoo! is on a mission, and it has everything to do with the G-word. No, I don’t mean Google.

Their mission: Promote social responsibility through social media.

The G-word, of course, is “green” (as in money, trees, or any combination thereof).

This week, Yahoo! announced its “eco guilt-trip,” as Mashable‘s Pete Cashmore calls it. Cashmore explains the move, saying they’re:

. . . launching a campaign called Be a Better Planet, which aims to find the greenest city in America (geographers take note…America is now the entire planet) and provide that city with a fleet of hybrid taxis. The promo ties in Yahoo services like Yahoo Answers, and they’re launching a site called Yahoo Green, which aims to be a hub for all things green.

A fleet of hybrid Ford Escape taxis!? Do you get extra points if your city already has a fleet of hybrid Ford Escape taxis? Where did all this come from?’s Kate Zimmerman explains:

Last year, the executive team at Yahoo! made the decision to re-organize the company with one of the central themes being the evolution of a culture from one largely organized around products, to one that is far more organized around our customers.

But Y?

Do you really want Yahoo! telling you to use compact florescent light bulbs, adjust your thermostat two degrees, or carpool to work? As it turns out, maybe you do. But, more to the point, they want “You”–the same folks who won Time‘s Person of the Year for ’06–to promote their do-goodery.

Why’s that? Well, chances are, Yahoo! knows you won’t believe they’re sincere.

Fleishman-Hillard/National Consumers League surveyB.L. Ochman’s What’s Next Blog points to new research, suggesting that “82% of Americans want Congress to ensure companies take action on pressing social issues.” But what’s interesting from a marketing perspective is how opinions about corporate responsibility are formed, and how they spread (see chart).

So, let’s start ‘em off with some outside feedback, shall we? What do you think of the Yahoo Green campaign?

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Comments (2)

  1. How does this help their business? It’s one thing to have people “like” your mega-billion dollar company, it’s another to deliver value to them. In most cases, the latter is enough for me to get my business.

    You are what you are. Trying to change your clothes to suit the trend of the hour just makes my BS meter go into overdrive and actually pisses me off. If you want to be green – do it. Don’t market it. We’ll figure it out if you’re being sincere and we might even reward you.

    The bandwagon is getting really full of companies that want to be “green”. This will backfire more and more as customers flip the switch “OFF” to these shallow companies.

  2. i don’t see this benefitting their business model. other than maybe traffic on good reading material

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