J500 Media and the Environment

What Gets Under Your Skin? by cherileb
October 24, 2008, 4:14 pm
Filed under: Food + Health, Society + Media | Tags: , , , , ,


When you get under people’s skin, they don’t forget it.  If you want their attention, make them squirm in the place where they live.  If you want people to connect with the environment, you have to get personal, says cognitive scientist George Lakoff.


Don’t ask who will defend nature?  Ask who will defend your nature, the one under your skin, that microcosm of the environment that is your body.  Ask fast, because according to the Centers for Disease Control, your inner environment is already polluted. 


A National Geographic reporter looked under his skin using body chemistry analysis.  This healthy, average, non-smoking American was shocked to find that merely living in this world had poisoned his body.  He had picked up chemicals from his bottled water, his nonstick pans, his shampoo and his flight to San Francisco. They were the same pesticides, plastics, retardants and metals polluting the rest of nature, not just the ecology of his body.


This inner landfill is called “body burden.”  It refers to the burden of pollutants our bodies carry around every day.  Some are harmful but fade, and some are the tipping point as to whether or not you develop cancer or have a healthy pregnancy.


We ARE the environment.  There’s no separation.  It’s under our skin, always has been.  So how do we communicate that?  As marketers, how do we create those unforgettable messages or images that will make people squirm?  How do we get personal?  Tell me, what gets under your skin?


– Cheri


The video below explains the Environmental Working Group’s “body burden” study, the same study mentioned by George Lakoff in the Sierra Club article.



2 Comments so far
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Good way to shape George Lakoff’s interview on the Sierra Club Web site. “Get under the skin”. Exactly! From a marketing perspective, what is the message that will attract and engage your consumer to keep looking and listening? Just as you captured, George Lakoff says “If we talk about climate and energy we need to frame it around needs. When environmental issues are cast in terms of health and security, which people already accept as vital and necessary, it is then that the environment becomes important”. We need to build report with each group, establish needs and provide solutions to make the environment, which is part of each of us, important. Nice way to capture the message; “getting under your skin”.
Jennifer W

Comment by jenjenku


Thanks for your comments! If you visit the link I attached to the word “images,” it takes you to an excerpt from Map 2 Report: Aspirational Environmentalism by Getty Images. The report says when creating ad images planting “green” facts onto buccolic images doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to show the “grit” and “dirt” of everyday life. They show some examples of ads that dare the reader to “get their hands dirty, get involved, don’t fear physical nature.” I thought some of the images were very powerful. Check it out and see what you think.

– Cheri

Comment by cherileb

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