By: Thomas Kolster
Understanding how marketing can be a force for good is an essential lesson to mastering the tricky world of green marketing, without unintentionally green-washing your product. In reading Thomas Kolster’s Goodvertising, one is able to collect pertinent knowledge to navigating the complexities of responsible advertising, such as how to demonstrate transparency through admitting company weaknesses, engaging in conversations with consumers and working beyond the advertising story, so that it reflects the true lifecycle of the company. Understanding that the power of creativity can go a long way, companies can show through positive reinforcement, like humour, how committed they are to their cause in an imaginative and memorable way that engaging the consumer’s interest.
Goodvertising, though it generally demonstrates the opportunities and successes of how responsible advertising can lead to both a reformation in how a company operates and how consumers respond to that positivity; but in many cases the book rewards those that claim a good that is only demonstrated in usually only one part of a company, and that is their message. Simplicity is usually regarded as the holy grail of advertising, but what it misses is that if a simple idea is not back up with comprehensive then it cues the crossover into irrelevancy. The text considers, that since a company makes an effort to do something good, that they become inherently good, and therefore the consumer should reward those companies that are green-washing simply because ‘they’re doing something’.
An essential part of marketing is the philanthropy that a corporation partakes in, even through NGO collaboration, will not be successful if it does not reflect who the company is, because a single act of good does show a potential to change, but it does not erase countless misdeeds of the past and present. Many companies use creative deigns and images to attract the consumer subconsciously to their product, but the media medium should not distract from the cause, the advertisement should enhance not distract. In many cases, companies are acting responsibly on their end, rather it is the consumer that is creating the issues, so rather than simply blaming the consumer, brands need to be responsible and re-evaluate their own actions that originally encouraged this behaviour and help consumers to change.
A prevailing message throughout the book, is that if you ‘hate something, change something’, even though this is the Honda’s catch phrase, it is a message that resonates with the total idea of how to promote sustainable businesses. Although every community, even each person responds to messages uniquely, but when a company understands and promotes their product with a message of hope for a healthy and sustainable world, it becomes contagious, and any campaign that can incite excitement and trust from consumers is one that always succeeds.
In my creative brief, I would want to incorporate these ideas from the Goodvertising text:
Have fun with creativity, and use it to challenge the company’s stereotype and how it is viewed in the media through exploring the ‘what-if’ question that illustrates the unique service the company offers.
Understanding what the company stands for, allows for the passion of the company to properly shine through their compassion and generosity, therefore support goals that the company already has anchored in their brand.
To connect with consumers, positivity can be a driving factor in encouraging the actions of consumers, for example using joy and humour to promote a personal connection consumer can develop with the company. In relation, using collaboration between like minded companies and customers can add value to the brand, because a unified message attracts shared value
When creating a campaign, simplicity is essential, this should be