The television remains one of the most vital tools available to “green” marketers. From product placement to paid commercial spots, getting your product, service or mission featured on TV is an invaluable way to bring your company’s messaging directly into people’s living rooms. Unfortunately that precious ad space isn’t cheap, and for smaller, purpose-driven companies such as TerraCycle, the costs are simply too high. Even so, that hasn’t stopped us from trying to secure our own fair share of the TV spotlight.
We don’t pay for advertising at TerraCycle, and have been reliant on earned TV spots for years. It’s something our public relations team has become adept at, having secured for us everything from spots in small community news broadcasts, to interviews on programs such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Whether it’s a brief mention during a news segment or an exclusive story about one of our new national programs, we always value every opportunity we get to bring our message to television. Imagine our excitement, then, when National Geographic approached us about making a reality TV show back in 2009.
The four-episode mini-series, “Garbage Moguls,” was TerraCycle’s first foray into the world of reality TV. The show followed the TerraCycle team as we came up with recycling and upcycling solutions for typically landfill-bound waste streams, highlighting all of the intra-office pandemonium that occurred along the way. It was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience, and allowed us to share with viewers our company culture and what drives our mission goals behind the curtain. Very few green companies are able to get that kind of national exposure, and we did it without spending a dime on advertising or production.
Our time with National Geographic was an exciting, if not short-lived experience that taught us a lot about producing compelling television around a social theme. It was also the springboard that helped land us a second reality TV series last year, this time with Participant Media’s very own Pivot TV network. With TV production already in our blood, it goes without saying that we were excited to get started. The new show, “Human Resources,” made its debut in the summer of 2014 with a 10-episode first season.
“Human Resources” brings viewers behind the scenes and into the fast-moving environment of the TerraCycle office, following our efforts to develop new recycling models, create new products out of waste, and roll out new programs across the country. We realized that a precious balance would have to be maintained to keep the show fun and entertaining, yet valuable enough that our underlying message wasn’t lost in translation. The result is a fun, dynamic look into TerraCycle’s corporate culture, following various TerraCycle employees and the struggles and successes they encounter at a young, mission-driven company from Trenton, NJ.
Season one of the series was so successful that we’re coming back for season two, set to premiere Friday, August 7, at 10:00pm (EST) on Pivot. Viewers will be able to get an intimate view into the new directions our company is going, with plenty of laughs and awkward moments along the way.
What started as a great opportunity for exposure and publicity has snowballed into a successful (so far) multi-season reality show. While “Human Resources” continues to be a valuable platform for marketing and the TerraCycle brand, we’re also excited about the implications the show’s success might have on future environmental programming. There aren’t many environmentally themed shows on air today, but we’re hoping that the relative success of ours will help pave the way for more.
Watch the premiere episode of Season 2 in its entirety for free online at www.takepart.com/humanresources.