Monday, November 23, 2009

Today’s Winner of the Most Ridiculous Use of Green Marketing Claims: CVS’ Greenbagtag

I couldn’t help myself being drawn into a curious, dumbfounded haze this evening while making my weekly after-work-chocolate-fix purchase at my local CVS Pharmacy. Fixated on the overflowing rack of green and brown paper with a bright green leaf, I stared in disbelief trying to make sense of how this Green Bag Tag is "green" in any sense of the word.

How does it work?

For 99 cents, shoppers can purchase this plastic “green bag tag” to hang from their reusable grocery bags and scan at the register to claim a reward dollar on every 4th visit to the store. So, for $1, you, the shopper, is paying to be rewarded for continuing to shop at CVS.

What makes this product “green”?

Absolutely nothing.

This tag, while doing little more than promoting shopping with CVS, is sold on a paper card and is made of plastic. Kudos for using recycled paper for the packaging, but is this tag even necessary? Considering that the CVS rewards program is already done electronically, is it really necessary to add to the waste stream and to add to the pollution muddying our air through the production of unnecessary no-value-added plastic? Do consumers really need two rewards cards from CVS?

Even if it promotes the use of reusable shopping bags, is it useful? Will consumers even remember to attach their CVS Green Bag Tag to their reusable shopping bags and then remember to bring it to the store?

Assuming the consumer actually remembers to use the tag and brings it with them to the store, how many would actually redeem and then use the reward dollars, which are of course only redeemable at CVS?

Great marketing strategy CVS! Get your customers to buy into a product that can only be used when shopping in your store. Set it apart from their current rewards program so that they will forget to use it. And, don’t forget to call it something politically savvy like “green.”

I love saving money. I love (nearly) everything green. But, I can’t bring myself to look at this product without a whopping, “HUH??”

1 comment: