Learning to Go Green With NBC Universal & Dwight Schrute

by Aman Singh Das | April 07, 2010

Seems like at least one channel is tuning us to think green. Is it a coincidence that its owner, General Electric has been a proponent of renewable and alternative energy, and tangentially, the green movement for years? Not so much. The WSJ reports today on NBC Universal's decision to sprinkle all its prime-time shows with "eco-friendly elements" in a single week as an attempt to subtly change consumer behavior. It was also to help sell ads to organic and environmentally-friendly products, who are increasingly playing boss to associate only with feel-good, socially aware shows.

 "The detectives on Law and Order investigated a cash-for-clunkers scam, a nurse on Mercy organized a group bike ride, Al Gore made a guest appearance on 30 Rock, and The Office turned Dwight Schrute into a cape-wearing superhero obsessed with recycling."

Early this year, I discussed how India's official government-run, state-owned channel recently started shooting a show called Green Kerala Express, in an attempt to showcase rural sustainability initiatives and suggested that maybe American television should consider a Green Edition of Extreme Makeover. While NBC hasn't gone quite that far, it is using subtle tactics to motivate an entire generation of TV viewers. There is also an official term for it: behavioral placement. Not to be confused with product placement, but for sure, an off-shoot of it.

How far this reflects in our every day habits of course, is conjecture at this point. As I highlighted yesterday with my post on some of the comments we received in our ongoing 2010 Law Associate Survey on what some of the top law firms are doing to reduce their carbon footprint, perception and motive don't always result in conscious efforts.

Read the complete story on NBC's Greening efforts. Also, take a look at this neat video put together by the Journal's news team, where they ask: Can TV Help Americans Go Green?

Are you a religious television viewer? Have you been motivated by a show to change your every day habits? Talk to us by leaving a comment or email In Good Company. And if you'd rather tweet, connect with me on Twitter @VaultCSR!

Filed Under: CSR


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