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The Magic Of Disney: Airs Of The Mind, Colors Of The Wind, a company which produces annual trend reports, recently reported that

Over the past few years, the ECO trend has moved from ECO-UGLY (ugly, over-priced, low performance alternatives to shiny 'traditional sphere' products and services) to ECO-CHIC (eco-friendly stuff that actually looks as nice and cool as the less responsible version) to ECO-ICONIC in 2008: "Eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic design and markers, that help their eco-conscious owners to visibly tout their eco-credentials to peers."

They were talking about products, but the trend applies to marketing, too.  It's strategic for companies to support green causes--for BP to "power" an Environmental blog, or for ShopBop to feature "EcoChic" styles on Earth Day ($154 for a macrame headband because, you know, nothing says I <3 Earth more than dressing up like Pocahontas).

Speaking of Pocahontas, Disney is now jumping on the green bandwagon. Recognizing the huge profit margins in nature films (Warner Independent's "March of the Penguins” cost $3 million to make and sold $127.4 million in tickets), the Walt Disney Company, has "established a new production banner to deliver two nature films a year starting in 2009. The effort, to be called Disneynature, reflects efforts by Disney to spur growth at its film unit after a retrenchment in 2006." Disney's chief executive "is betting the Disney brand will deliver ... [its] halo effect in the nature genre."  But is Disney really haloing nature, or is nature haloing Disney? Either way, I expect that the outcome -- silky rivers and manicured mountains -- will be pretty as a princess.

--Francesca Mari