When it comes to purpose marketing, there is a simple rule: Don’t just talk about your brand. Talk about what you are doing to make a difference or change behavior.
Thomas Kolster, founder and creative director at Copenhagen-based Goodvertising Agency, has been preaching this for years as he advises companies and organizations on topics ranging from sustainability to societal and health risks. But without fail, brands often fall into what Kolster calls a "hero trap," too focused on beating their own chests rather than doing real good.
As part of a new monthly series added to Ad Age’s weekly Marketer’s Brief podcast, Kolster will break down recent purpose-fueled ads and campaigns, highlighting hits and misses while offering advice on how brands can do better.
Our first episode runs in the wake of Earth Day, when numerous brands unleashed environmental campaigns. Below, a few that caught Kolster’s eye, for better or worse.
It’s one thing to encourage travelers to engage in environmentally responsible behavior, but it’s another thing to reward them for it. “Ol’au Palau” is the latest campaign from the Palau Legacy Project, a volunteer group that advocates for behavior that protects the environment of the western Pacific island nation. Since late 2017, the country has required that visitors take the "Palau Pledge" to tread lightly on the island habitat. The new campaign, from Host/Havas, allows visitors to earn points for environmentally friendly behavior that can be cashed in for one-of-a-kind experiences, such as a diving excursion.