Earth Day: A Cause for Celebration for Neutrogena and the NBA

Today marks 45 years since the first Earth Day celebration. People across the globe are planting trees, picking up trash, and planning a better future for our planet. While today is a special reminder for us to preserve the environment, some organizations are expanding their commitment to a longer celebration.

Since before the #IceBucketChallenge, brands have launched campaigns to produce social good and authentically align with their consumers’ interests. This is cause marketing and it works for all kinds of brands as it’s a unique opportunity for businesses to tell an impactful story that matters to them and their community. This Earth Day, we’ve identified a couple of brands that are creatively involving their audiences to raise awareness for environmental issues.   

The National Basketball Association #NBAGreen

The NBA started the Earth Month celebration early with Green Week—a seven-day partnership with Sprint and the Green Sports Alliance. All week long, NBA players and fans were reducing, reusing, and recycling their way to a cleaner planet and sharing their experiences via social to spread the word.

By sharing the message, participants were making an impact that would continue even after the week came to a close. For every use of the hashtag, #NBAGreen, the league planted a tree—and for every three-pointer that was scored during Green Week, three trees were planted!

How many trees did that translate to? Looking at the #NBAGreen page, audiences could track the conversations that led to more trees. Including 3-pointers, over 22,740 trees were planted in a depleted Colorado forest!

The Experience featured NBA team and player content and fan-generated content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and embeddable YouTube video.

Golden State Warriors player, Stephen Curry, participates in #NBAGreen Week.

Numerous recycling programs, service projects, and in-arena awareness nights took place over the week to demonstrate the NBA’s commitment to the green cause. By leveraging its teams and players, and the connective power of social media to share the story, the NBA inspired involvement in a way that was unique and true to its mission.

Neutrogena #WipeForWater

Neutrogena also ran a month-long  green campaign throughout April. Their #WipeForWater program aligned with their brand and showcased their “good-nature.” Neutrogena partnered with The Nature Conservancy to drive awareness for water conservation in a very unconventional way.  

Rather than rely on just print or television ads, Neutrogena wanted to inspire water conservation by encouraging audiences to take the pledge to #WipeForWater. By taking the pledge, individuals are taking a stand to clean their faces without water—saving up to 5 gallons of water per day.

Participants are given the option to take the pledge for up to seven days, and with each pledge, Neutrogena is contributing $1 to The Nature Conservancy to save even more water. Actress Kristen Bell has already joined thousands by taking the pledge AND she went makeup-less on camera to show how she’s wiping her face, sans water.

Visitors to can also see, in real-time, how their pledge is helping Neutrogena reach their conservation goal and check out alternatives to washing their faces with water.

Finally, there’s a space for audiences to get inspired by others who’ve already taken the #WipeForWater pledge. Some have taken the pledge because of droughts in certain parts of the country, others are happy to be makeup-free, and there are those who just want to do some good during Earth Month.  

It's Easy Being Green

Brands are in a unique position to use their influence for the greater good, and make a social impact on a cause that resonates with their company. This isn’t limited to green initiatives, there are tons of other great causes that brands connect with, like AIDS awareness, peace, or educational programs. The NBA and Neutrogena showed their commitment to a cause in a way that made sense to their audiences, and at the end of the day, benefitted an organization that will help shape the future of our planet.


Looking for more cause marketing inspiration? Check out Lucky Charms' "Lucky to Be" campaign to celebrate Pride Month:

Samantha Subar's picture

Samantha Subar

Samantha is a PR Manager at Spredfast where she showcases the customers and thought leaders behind the world's best social software platform. Texas born and raised, Samantha is also a Longhorn lover, wilderness explorer, and cupcake connoisseur. Follow her for the latest on Spredfast and, of course, food.