“Doing good” is for most brands (and agencies) like pissing in a wet suit. It feels nice and warm, but quickly begins to stink. Femvertising, gayvertising, goodvertising, causevertising or whatever you call it seems to be on everybody’s lips these days and the juries are like never before putting their heart into it and awarding purpose with metal. I usually don’t do Cannes Predictions. In my book every advertiser or agency that speaks up for change, that challenges over-consumption or makes a difference should receive accolade compared to their snake oil selling peers. And I believe they will receive appraisal in Cannes this year following the saying: the more you give, the more you get.
Don’t shout, solve shit
Looking back at this year I see a growing body of work in the #goodvertising space, which in itself is applaudable. Can you believe that this Super Bowl had 11 commercials out of 51, which dared to stand up for something bigger than plugging product? That said, there is still too far between great impactful work where the brand is not only shouting to bring attention to an issue, but rather gets its hands dirty and solve shit! There are simply too many marketing gimmicks done to win a Lion rather than being authentic attempts aimed at making a long-lasting difference. I’ll urge agencies and advertisers to make programs – not campaigns – that can run year after year or aim at creating scalable solutions (open-source, if possible) like Aland Index, which shows you’re in it to make a great leap forward rather than jumping in the pool with a magnum bottle of Rosé at the Carlton! No more empty roars, let’s celebrate campaigns with a big heart and a real bite!
Mattel: Barbie Evolve the Doll
(Great, now make them at least 51% of your collection)
Bank of Åland: Aland Index
(Someone take this idea and scale it up, please!)
Savlon: Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks
(Please rich Man Men invest in this great idea!)
State Street Global Advisors: Fearless girl statue
(Ok, I like the symbolism, but not sure I’m too fond of the client State Street Global Advisors. Before they fuck up a real artists’ work, maybe they should take their own medicine. They only have 5 women on their leadership team out of 28)
Channel 4: We’re the Superhumans
(Channel 4 keeps creating strong work for the Paralympics!)
AP Thailand: The unusual football field
Amnesty International: The Refugee nation
(Important issue – and what an impact)
Momondo: The DNA Journey
(Come on Big Beer show some leadership!)
Nike: Nike Pro Hijab
(In a time where Muslims get vilified, this is an important act!)
Nestlé: 100 Million Packs
(Power from scale)
Cover Girl: Cover Boy
IKEA and Red cross: 25m2 of Syria
(Insightful as hell and the right time and place!)
IM – Individuell Människohjälp: Humanium Metal
(Dear Cannes Lions, maybe some inspiration for your trophies?)
Tiger Beer: Air Ink
Dove: Real Beauty Bottles
(Come on, roll it out, make it big, make it global!)
(In the same line of thought as #Sharetheload, but too important issue to not mention)
Thomas Kolster is Mr. Goodvertising, a man on a mission, one of the early pioneers in the do-good space coining the term Goodvertising to describe the changing advertising landscape that’s become a movement in itself. As a seasoned advertising professional counting more than 16 years he’s a vocal voice for advertising and brands as a force for good and his book, Goodvertising.
Thomas is a globally experienced keynote speaker featured at events like SXSW, Eurobest, D&AD, Epica, ad:tech & Sustainable Brands, columnist for several publications and a regular judge at international award shows. As a passionate entrepreneur and change-agent he’s launched impact platforms like Cph:Change and Wheregoodgrows.com.