These days, it feels like every brand has adopted a socially worthy purpose. This wasn’t just a pandemic thing, although it was certainly accelerated by loads of brands trying to be exceptionally meaningful during lockdown. It’s a longer-term trend in an ad industry that seems to think every brand needs to be socially worthy and globally important. And it’s kind of exhausting.
Purpose was created as the antidote to a lack of real product differentiation, designed to let brands have a more robust conversation, stand for something greater than themselves and emotionally connect in a deeper way. Because it’s become so universally applied, purpose is driving a real sea of sameness downstream in the creative work, oftentimes leaving us numb with its angst and hyperbole. With so many brands working so hard to make the world a better place, you would think we’d have solved all the world’s problems by now.
Certainly, there are companies and brands that play a significant role in our lives and the culture at large. By all means, articulate their purpose and attach them to a noble, human endeavor.