Is Going Green Good Marketing?

I’ve received an email from European SaaS All-in-One SMB provider 24SevenOffice (wow, that’s a mouthful, basically NetSuite+Office for really small businesses, see my earlier coverage):

2008 must be the year when we all act against the serious environmental threat that the world is facing. 24SevenOffice has developed “The Go Green Game”, a Flash-game that puts focus on the pollution caused by the millions of unnecessary server rooms and servers located in all companies.

In addition, 24SevenOffice will plant trees based on the number of players, in co-operation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Maathai’s Green Belt Movement. If you wish to make a direct contribution to the society, let yourself entertain at or forward this e-mail to friends, colleagues and business partners who are committed to the environmental battle.

Thank you for showing responsibility for the environment! The game can be found here:

I had mixed thoughts at first reading: Obviously environmental consciousness is becoming fashionable. Companies rush to launch their green initiatives in order to look “responsible corporate citizens”. OK, that’s the cynical view, but after all, these are often useful initiatives, and I’ve already said you don’t have to be purely altruistic to do good.

Whatever this game may be, it’s just a “save the earth” message, it’s not a vehicle to push 24SevenOffice products…

But wait! Like Columbo, when you think he’s gone, but comes back and drops the gist of the conversation, there’s a footnote here:

NB! The products mentioned in this e-mail are not the environmental sinners in themselves.
The environmental problem is based on the fact that most businesses, unnecessarily, have their own
servers and server rooms. This is the issue that 24SevenOffice is addressing.

Ahh…so it is advertising after all. Oh, well, it still delivers a correct message .. let’s check out the game itself:

I need to practice my swing, I could barely smash a few servers, look how much they’ve already racked up! Even worse, I’m not good in reading instructions, totally missed option#2, which is…no, I can’t tell you, it’s too violent.smile_devil

Joke apart, 24SevenOffice clearly has a point: maintaining millions of servers for (small) businesses is wasteful, switching to Cloud Computing allows central servers to be more efficiently utilized, we’re all saving energy.

As a side-note, I’ve just looked at a web-based service that allows us, as individual consumers “go green” – will report about it when they are ready.


  1. Was surprised to see this as this was an idea I had five years ago. The game was developed externally then but never launched. The story behind the game back then was for the CEO to keep out expensive servers added by the CTO, not going green as now.

%d bloggers like this: