Fertilizer runoff is suffocating bay marine life, so environmentalists want to discourage the overuse of fertilizer in the rain-heavy spring. Of course, that's when most people fertilize their lawns.
Beg. Plead with homeowners to refrain from fertilizing to protect the watershed.
Build a lifestyle brand. Our research showed no statistical relationship between fertilizer use and pollution concerns. Earnest environmental pleas got tuned out. Plus, the program wanted to build a culture of bay stewardship. So we built the Chesapeake Club brand to link the considerable cachet of the Chesapeake lifestyle with stewardship actions in the watershed. And we used humor, not scare tactics. Our tag line: Save the crabs, then eat 'em.
A post-intervention, random-digit dial telephone survey showed increased awareness of lawn care behaviors that contribute to Bay pollution, and decreased intent to fertilize. Seven out of 10 people in the area recalled the campaign’s theme. More importantly, 30% percent of those exposed to the campaign reported they were not planning to fertilize their lawn at all in 2005, compared to 22% of those not exposed to the campaign.