Sunday, September 17, 2006

Timberland cares?

Perhaps in response to the shoe company we all know is going to hell for using sweatshops, child labor, clear-cutting forests for shoelaces and testing shoes on a puppy kicking machine... (yes, that one, the one that rhymes with Mikey)

[Disclaimer: The Newb has not independently verified any of the above statements though we can firmly attest to the craftsmanship in the product for use in puppy-kicking.]

Where was I? Oh yes, so in response to evil shoe companies, Timberland has taken a step forward (get it, shoe company, step forward, oh damn, I kill me) in social responsibility and has now begun to include "nutrition" labels on their shoe boxes. They look like this:

The labels show how much energy was used to create the product, how much of that was renewable energy, how many community hours the company has logged and where exactly the shoe was made. The site's here.

I'm so torn. I really really like this idea. And yet it reeks of marketing bad feet (badumpching!).

Must... stop... being so... CYNICAL!

Ok ok, fine, this is a great idea. I know it's chock full of gimmick but if the numbers are really supported by real data, it may help us consumers decide which company is serious about being socially responsible. I like it, I think more companies should do it. Bravo to Timberland for getting this started.

[and then as I was about to write this post, I went to grab the url for that nutrition label page]


Oh lookie. The page describing this very socially responsible initiative is named "ad4". Not "wecareabouttheenvironment.jsp" or "lovemamaearth.jsp" or "wearegoodguys.jsp". "Ad" freak'n "4" dot jay ass pee!

If you edit the number to be ad3.jsp, you get another ad campaign. Yup, as good as this sounds, it's just another stupid ad campaign. Way to ruin the tiny sliver of non-cynicism I had left Timberland. As I always say, marketers are evil.

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