Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.


The best of solutions journalism in the sustainability space, published monthly.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Sherrell Dorsey headshot

Seventh Generation’s Plan to Take Over the Market Starts with Funny Woman Maya Rudolph

By Sherrell Dorsey


Maya Rudolph isn’t a fan of “blue goo” or other color-coated laundry detergents. The "Bridesmaids" actress and comedienne was recently tapped as a spokesperson for Seventh Generation’s newly launched $15 million advertising campaign.

In the series of three affable commercials, delivered by ad agency 72andSunny, Rudolph dispels myths about the efficacy of green cleaners while simultaneously calling out bargain-brand detergents for their unnecessary dyes and toxic chemicals.

Very few green cleaning brands turn to celebrity-endorsed commercials to help urge consumer conversion toward more environmentally friendly products. This commercial marks only Seventh Generation’s second attempt at mass-media consumption since its founding in the mid-1980s.

As consumer spending continues to reveal a premium and importance on green products, Seventh Generation is hoping to stay both timely and relevant as the market continues to saturate with competing products and private-label store brands that claim planet-friendly ingredients.

Overall, consciousness about healthy homes and a healthier planet is shared globally. A recent Nielsen survey concluded that 26 percent of consumers consider organic and all-natural ingredients to be important in their cleaning materials. Additionally, 24 percent cite sustainable packaging as important to their purchasing decisions.

While market share is the sure-fire goal for Seventh Generation, the challenge to sway consumers to purchase green cleaners has less to do with fancy creatives and much more to do with consumer trust.

Lawsuits have been filed against brands like Jasons and actress Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. for claims of ingredient purity and non-toxic properties that, when tested, weren't found to be accurate. Greenwashing, as an industry tactic, continues to run rampant -- turning once trustworthy brands into questionable choices in the aisle when consumers can’t decipher between the plethora of claims. Ultimately, price often wins out.

"Everyone is entitled to make the choices they feel are best for their families," Seventh Generation CMO Joey Bergstein told Fast Company. "Without doubt, consumers have the right to know what’s inside the products they purchase—just like they do when it comes to food or personal care products."

Video and featured image courtesy of Seventh Generation 

Sherrell Dorsey headshot

Sherrell Dorsey is a social impact storyteller, social entrepreneur and advocate for environmental, social and economic equity in underserved communities. Sherrell speaks and writes frequently on the topics of sustainability, technology, and digital inclusion.

Read more stories by Sherrell Dorsey