Purpose Hits and Misses with Ad Age: M&M’s Super Bowl stunt and a ‘subvertising’ move
Subvertising is a type of advertising that is intended to subvert or criticize mainstream advertising. It involves the alteration or parody of advertisements in order to convey a different message than the original. Subvertising can be used to challenge the dominant...
The Old Purpose Vanguard Needs New Ideas
Brand purpose needs to adapt and change. Most campaigns and initiatives are generic and superficial. Creativity, storytelling and being helpful is what’s needed. - An article taken from MarketingWeek Winning at purpose is like a child trying to catch a pigeon. When...
AdAge Purpose Marketing Hits and Misses – November
As part of Ad Age’s weekly Marketer’s Brief podcast, on a monthly basis, we will explore the best and worst purpose marketing ads Below, my opinions on some recent campaigns - taken directly from AdAge. HITS Mentos is using some unlikely stars to help push a recycling...
Forbes: The Changemaker Interview
A new post-purpose reality is here! New #LeadershipStrategy interview in Forbes: I sat down with David Hessekiel from Cause Marketing Forum / Engage for Good while in #NewYork and discussed my book #TheHeroTrapand some of the latest research, we've done with GfK. It's...
GfK Brand Insights with Goodvertising
Yeah, you might think the Greta Thunberg-generation are fighting with banners in hand when your brand tries to rally the purpose movement? The second part of our research together with research agency GfK showcase it’s actually older generation that pays more...
We’re Wasting Our Chance to Create Change!
I’ve been advocating for change in this climate space for +13 years and I’ve seen a rise in commitments, campaigns and talk – yet is it all just too little too late? Why aren’t we seeing the mass mobilization of citizens or corporations or for that sake elected...
Ad Age – Purpose Marketing Hits and Misses: Apple, Heineken, Lidl, La Vie Foods and more
As part of Ad Age’s weekly Marketer’s Brief podcast, on a monthly basis, Ad Age and I explore the best and worst purpose marketing ads. Here is the most recent podcast from the 2nd of October - article taken directly from the Ad Age website. Hits Paris-based La Vie...
Purpose Marketing Hits and Misses with Ad Age – September 2022
In the next episode of the recent Ad Age podcast, we discuss purpose marketing, and I give some insights and viewpoints on hits and misses. Check out the article and podcast (taken directly from Ad Age) below: As part of Ad Age’s weekly Marketer’s Brief podcast, on a...
Interview between Thomas Kolster and Richard Leather – at Cannes Lions 2022
A new leadership, a new type of brand is needed if we are to confront the climate emergency. Check out my recent interview with Richard Leather, from the Cannes Lions Festival. For more, grab your copy of the #HeroTrap Thanks to STAN Studios for the feature and the...
Environmental Marketing Mistakes – Podcast with Ad Age
In the next episode of the recent Ad Age podcast, we discuss environmental marketing, and I give some insights and viewpoints. Check out the article and podcast (taken directly from Ad Age) below: According to purpose marketing expert Thomas Kolster, brands often make...
The Doomsday Clock is Ticking on the World’s Biggest Advertising Festival
Six key takeaways from this year’s Cannes Lions and how your campaigns can be better Cannes Lions is to advertising what Cannes is to film - the biggest global gathering of the industry. The change is visible, but is it simply what advertising is so good at:...
A Cannes Lions First: “Open House for Good” (OHFG!)
A Cannes Lions first: “Open House for Good” (OHFG!) encourages everyone to open up their venues, beach, cabana, yacht, event space during Cannes Lions and discuss the most important topic of our time: Sustainability in all its social, environmental, economic and...
Brands, Listen Up! Time for New Approaches
Download the Booklet here We’re witnessing a purpose-fatigue – so what’s the way forward? How can brands better inspire action? Inspired by my book The Hero Trap and its framing around transformative brands and the methodology the Arrow, I’ve embarked on a research...
Purpose is too good to be true. Aim for the small flush button.
If you put on the hero’s cape and shout the fatigued chorus of “better world” and “do good for people and planet” you most likely will fail as people can easily criticize you. You most likely don’t wake up in the morning with an aim to save the world. On a good day, I...
Why Absolut’s Newest LGBTQ+ Campaign Works… And Other Observations From A Purpose Marketing Expert
In the second episode of the recent Ad Age podcast, we uncover the difference between commercial suicide and sincere support for the LGBTQ+ community. Check out the article and podcast (taken directly from Ad Age) below: Purpose marketing expert Thomas Kolster does...
Goodvertising Awards 2021
Although more than a little delayed, we want to extend a massive congratulations to the winners of the Goodvertising Awards 2021. All this work is so important for driving messages and action from others! Goodvertising Awards are like no other award. You cannot enter,...
Don’t be a Purpose Preacher, be a Life Coach
Let me ask you a question. Is there anything you would like to change about yourself? Anything you would like to become better at? You don’t have to get pen and paper out and start writing your list. Trust me, mine is long. Of course, we all have stuff we want to...
Shouting “I Care for Ocean Plastics” is Not Branding, it’s a Hero Trap
Ocean plastic is not going to be your brand lifebuoy, most likely your Achilles Heel. Most brands didn’t become irrelevant because they forgot their purpose, their WHY, but because they forgot WHO to play a meaningful role for. Think about the majority of reality TV...
Is Purpose Getting Tired and not Delivering?
I used to be a big advocate for purpose, but it’s time we revise how we activate purpose. And yes, purpose is being challenged from many fronts these days for not being good for business (Unilever vs. Terry Smith) to not delivering the results for the brand (like...
Grading ‘Purpose’ Ads: Earth Day Winners And Losers – With Ad Age
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 behaviour. Myself and Ad Age kicked off a new podcast that tackles some purpose nonsense and helps bring a bit of...
Interview: Why it’s Time for Brand Purpose to Get Real
This article was originally written and published by Creative Review When Danish marketing and sustainability expert Thomas Kolster wrote his book Goodvertising back in 2012, the world hadn’t quite yet cottoned on to the idea of purpose in marketing. Since then, of...
D&AD Impact Jury President Calls for Work that Pushes for Systematic Change
As I prepare to head up the Impact and Future Impact juries at the 2022 D&AD awards, I talk about why creatives should stop focussing on small interventions and move on to bigger, systemic challenges. For the most part our industry is no better than a sausage...
Have a Listen: 2021 Podcasts
I’m grateful for all the powerful and insightful conversations I had on #podcasts in 2021. I really love the format for its frankness and each one of the podcasts provoked me to think differently - and together with the hosts, I feel fortunate to have learned and...
How Brands Must Behave in ‘Post-Purpose’ Market
People are turning their back on preachy, too-good-to-be-true purpose statements from brands. From years of anti-smoking campaigns, we have learned that people don’t avoid the cigarettes, but rather the campaign. The same can be said about so-called purposeful brands’...
Honoured to be Elected Jury President of D&AD Impact
I’m immensely proud to be elected Jury Chairman of D&AD Impact, which I regard as the most important award in our industry, as its honouring ideas that drive sustainable change. It’s a lighthouse in our industry – showcasing that our industry and creativity...
Learn how to be a quality leader on the examples of domestic telecom
The sixth Brandstorming of Hrvatski Telekom, along with the originator of advertising for the purpose of good, Thomas Kolster, offered interesting and inspiring insights about brands to leaders. The pressure on brands is growing - they must be more...
The famous Mr. Goodvertising in Zagreb raised fundamental questions of the creative industry
Zagreb's creatives and communicators had the opportunity to enjoy several hours of socializing with expert Thomas Kolster in the beautiful ambience of Rougemarin Park and enter the fall with a handful of inspiration and new ideas. Autumn is a time of change and...
As Published in Campaign Magazine: “Your Brand Shouldn’t Hold The Pride Banner: Turn People Into The Activists”
When every brand is claiming to be Nelson Mandela, people are growing increasingly skeptical towards those brand’s efforts. It’s time we wake up and embrace a new direction, if we’re not to jeopardise the brands we’re working for. And who can blame people for being...
As Published in Sustainable Brands: “Stores Are Failing, Because You Can Buy Anywhere. Change Lives Instead.”
The happiness of buying new shoes is a short-lived dopamine kick, whereas finding better ways of living in balance with yourself adds lifelong value. It’s time to create a new offering: Who can you help people become? The best things in life aren’t things. If...
Interview for 5 Media: Has ‘corporate purpose’ lost its way?
There are few businesses left whose website doesn’t include a proud statement of their purpose, values and mission. Whether a company is selling pensions or protein shakes, customers expect to hear what it stands for. But do these words add up to anything? Thomas...
The Hero Trap Audiobook Review with Calvin Jodisi, Founder of ASENTI
In this live chat from 24 June 2021, I take my first virtual trip to Kenya where I get interviewed by Calvin Jodisi, Founder of The African Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ASENTI). We discuss key takeaways from The Hero Trap Audiobook and unravel why it's...
Podcast Episode: Pirate in a Parrot World
In this podcast episode for The We Don't Need Roads PACK Series, I got to chat about purpose, authenticity and how sustainability, marketing and leadership meet. According to the fun crew at Talent Sprint, in the toss between parrot or pirate... I'm a pirate! Check...
Most Creative Work is Do-Good Fata Morganas
When you look at most creative work in the sustainability, do-good, #goodvertising-space it does look worthy at first sight. But when you take a closer look, it’s a fata morgana. As a creative industry, we still have a long way to go to truly solve social and...
As Published in Sustainable Brands: Climate Was the Big Loser in This Year’s Super Bowl – and So Were We
Super Bowl LV wasn’t a year in which brands showed leadership with their sustainability messaging; but after the divisiveness, the climate emergency and the rampaging health crisis of 2020, it was a relief to have a laugh. As the Buccaneers delivered a convincing...
Originally featured in ADWEEK: 4 Super Bowl Ad Missteps Brands Should Avoid
I’ve been covering Super Bowls for years and seen how advertisers have embraced purposeful messages or good-vertising like bees around a honeypot. Money talks. If you’re willing to go deep into your pockets and take the public stage for Super Bowl, you better...
The Goodvertising Awards 2020
Another year has passed and the competition for the Goodvertising Awards was definitely stiff. The Goodvertising Awards are not awards that can be entered. They are selected from thousands of campaigns to have been produced in 2020. For Goodvertising, agency name,...
Coffee Talk with Innate Motion: “Unlocking Meaningful Growth”
Recently, on 11 December 2020, I enjoyed a hygge session with the Innate Motion team from Paris, France. I had the pleasure of being hosted by Innate's co-founders Benoit Beaufils and Femke Van Loon to discuss brands, unlocking meaningful growth, what people...
42 Courses Podcast: Discussing the New Goodvertising Course
As recently announced, we've recently launched a Goodvertising course in partnership with Cannes Lions on 42courses.com My team and I are ecstatic because we work day and night to spread the Goodvertising (and Hero Trap) messages to more brands, agencies,...
New Goodvertising Course in Partnership with Cannes Lions, on 42courses.com
I am very proud and happy to announce that an in-depth Goodvertising course has been launched in partnership with Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and 42courses.com! These days brands function in a completely different landscape. Consumers are more...
M Talk: Future Business Models in a Post Purpose & Post Pandemic Era
This year, Dansk Markedsføring (Danish Marketing Association) launched a webinar series called "M Talks". The purpose of these talks is to share insights, explore actionable solutions and to work towards an industry that is relevant, sustainable and has a positive...
London International Awards: Advertising for good pioneer Thomas Kolster responds to Rupen Desai’s call for ‘Saving Purpose’
Purpose Doesn't Need More Saving Than a Self-important Saint Thomas Kolster is one of the most well-known faces in the advertising for good space – coining the term Goodvertising. He’s a marketing activist on a mission to make business put people and planet first –...
Purpose Has Become A Tired “Save The World” Chorus, And It’s Easily Ignored
In this guest post, for Australia’s B&T Magazine, marketing activist Thomas Kolster discusses a study in his new book that shows how purpose fails to motivate and has become a tired “save-the-world” chorus, that is easily ignored…
Goodvertising or Badvertising Episode 2
In webisode two of “Goodvertising or Badvertising”, challenging the “do-good” efforts of companies continues… but with a twist, and your involvement is needed.
Goodvertising or Badvertising Episode 1
“Goodvertising or badvertising” is a web series where different brands’ “do good” campaigns and initiatives are placed under a microscope. It’s either the ad is so damn good, so it’s goodvertising – or we’re doing the world a favour by never having to see such a bad ad again; badvertising!
In Conversation with Rory Wilmer on Podcast Pivo
I was recently hosted on this lively and reflective podcast in a chat where I feel like time flew because I was having fun.
2021 “M List” Nomination
Dansk Markedsføring (Danish Marketing) is Denmark's Association for people in media, sales, marketing, advertising and communication. Annually, the prestigious "M List" is released, recognising top-achieving individuals, brands and agencies. The criteria for selection...
The Emoji Dedicated to Saving Your Life
“When creativity and compassion come together, we can create something that will really make a difference.” – Mazen Jawad, President of Horizon Holdings An emoji saving a life? Addressing a major global issue like cancer? This is a different train of thought...
2020 D&AD Awards: Dear To My Heart
Most people who've come to know me and my work know about me being a man on a mission to bring overdue transformation in the marketing and advertising industries. When I say transformation, I mean the real deal. Not "lipstick on a pig" games. My interest is in...
Awards for Good (Revisited)
Back in 2012 Thomas Kolster put together what was possibly the first list of creative 'Awards for Good' in his seminal Goodvertising: Creative Advertising that Cares book. There were 12 including Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (Grand Prix for Good),...
Opinion in WFA: I don’t want yet another soft drinks company screaming purpose at me
Originally published by World Federation of Advertisers We’re at the beginning of a new post-purpose era, where brands will fail if they think they can outcry competition by screaming ‘I care’, says purpose pioneer Thomas Kolster, also known as Mr. Goodvertising, as...
Opinion in The Drum: You’re selling running shoes – don’t pretend you’re saving the world
Credit: Originally featured in The Drum Thomas Kolster literally wrote the book on brand purpose. Despite being one of its biggest advocates, however, he’s having a change of heart after seeing one too many marketers mistake preaching for purpose. Here, he urges...
Corporate and agency training
New digital possibilities open up for training from a group of executives to hundreds across an organisation Online brings a lot of new possibilities to the table when it comes to training. Usually, training might be limited to a smaller group of people such as an...
Interview in AdWeek: Why Brands Need to Avoid Being Heroes in the World’s Story
In his new book, Thomas Kolster has an awakening about brand purpose Credit: Originally published by AdWeek In 2012, author Thomas Kolster released his first book, Goodvertising. Eight years ago, the thinking in the book was revolutionary, and the Danish branding...
Opinion in Contagious: Why brand activism is a hero trap
Credit: Originally featured in Contagious Thomas Kolster took a hatchet to his beliefs about brand activism when he realised it had become a performative shouting match, and discovered the missing link between purposeful advertising and sales. I used to...
Opinion in Shots: Why brands doing good fail, and what you can do about it
Credit: Image by Getty Images – Originally featured in Shots Across every award show you see yet another brand trying to pitch itself as the solution to all the ills of this world. Unfortunately, I witness missteps daily. It turns out I was wrong about brands pursuing...
Opinion in AdWeek: SHIFTING MARKETING FROM FOCUSING ON THE MASSES TO MILLENNIALS INSTEAD
Bake in plenty of "me" into the millennial marketing mix. Credit: Image by Getty Images – Originally featured in Ad Week In young people’s eyes, advertising was already on life-support before the pandemic. Young people already saw advertising in a coma. For...
Opinion in SB: THE CORONAVIRUS IS MAKING PUBLIC DISCOURSE SICK
Credit: Image by DB_OBLIKOVANJE/PIXABAY – Originally featured in Sustainable Brands When it comes to Coronavirus, the climate emergency or any other disaster, we shouldn’t antagonize; rather, we should empathise. If we learn to see beyond the tips of our noses and...
Opinion in Ad Age: BRANDS SHOULD NOT STAY SILENT DURING THE PANDEMIC, BUT THEY SHOULD AVOID THE ‘HERO TRAP’
Taking a look at winning communication strategies in times of crisis Credit: Illustration by Tam Nguyen/Ad Age - Originally featured in Ad Age This is no time to stay silent or inactive as a brand. According to a survey by the World Federation of Advertisers,...
POST-PURPOSE Workshop, April 24th Paris
WORKSHOP Learn how to fight purpose fatigue and create an authentic, people-first brand Most companies today are firmly on the social and environmental issues bandwagon like bees around a honey pot from oceans plastic to diversity. People are increasingly distrustful...
Super Bowl’s $5.6M Question: Can Snickers Really Fix the World?
At least the game was fun to watch, because this year’s commercials make the United Nations’ sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook report seem like interesting reading. This year, corporate America chose to laugh rather than voice an opinion. This article...
Sell Responsibly… or Else? It’s Time to Face (Over)-Consumption and Come Up with Creative Solutions
We shouldn’t lure people into consuming more than they need; but rather, help people make it all add up to a more meaningful life. Brands might be able to keep afloat on a short-term strategy and hide behind a cloak of innocence, but every dinosaur step is one closer to extinction.
Thomas Kolster at Future Investment Initiative 2019
In October, Thomas Kolster joined Future Investment Initiative 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Here, he went deep into the world of technology with, among others, Alexander Shulgin, Adam Aron and Bob Simonds. At Future Investment Initiative, Thomas Kolster and other...
It’s Time for Brands to Stop Climate Grandstanding and Listen to Consumer Needs
Let’s leave purpose preaching in 2019. Be good, and you might get lucky: Advertising’s new consumer pick-up line is all about a higher purpose and saving our world from all sorts of ills. Brands and business leaders try to outcry and outdo each other with big promises...
Thomas Kolster judging D&AD Impact Awards
Thomas Kolster recently judged the D&AD Impact Awards in New York. D&AD Impacts exists to recognise creative ideas that are driving positive change. This is done by elevating purposeful products, initiatives and campaigns. This year, the Future Impact...
Thomas Kolster judging EthicMark® Awards 2019
The 16 October, the independent media company, Ethical Markets, and co-sponsors announced 10 finalists for the EthicMark® Awards 2019. This an award Thomas Kolster has helped judging for the past years. The EthicMark® Awards continued identifying advertising and...
Thomas Kolster as a part of JCDecaux’ new initiative
Thomas Kolster has been part of a really interesting global study by JCDecaux called Brand Urbanism® - exploring how cities can become a platform for better lives. The study’s purpose was to understand the way in which brands express themselves in the urban space and...
New TEDx talk: Can advertising save the world?
Thomas joined TEDx Panteion University's jam-packed event in Athens in May this year. Does advertising satisfy or create the needs of the modern human after all? Undoubtedly, advertising is one of the most misconceived professional fields in modern society and the...
Brands Need to Stop Putting Themselves First When Focusing on a Purpose
Brands often focus too heavily on making themselves come across as the "hero." Too often they fall into a “hero trap”. If you asked a psychologist to evaluate most brand purposes, I imagine the diagnosis would be somewhere between megalomania or delusion. The latest...
Thomas joins the Cannes Lions 2019 SDG Jury
As Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is widely known as the world championships of advertising, I am very proud to be invited to join the 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Jury. Why? Because for a long time I've been doing my best to get the attention of companies...
Fresh Forward at Sustainable Brands Paris 2019
On 23-25 April, I joined the team and more than 3000 attendees at Sustainable Brands Paris that took place at Le Carrousel du Louvre, where we discussed the state of sustainability - and indeed the future of it. Check out the video for the panel debate I had the good...
Creating a Better Africa during Creativity Week
It’s been great to be back in Lagos again even though it’s been less than 11 months ago since I was last here. This time joining Creativity Week, a local representative of Cannes Lions, aiming to raise the level of creativity across East and West Africa. Applaudable!...
Purpose: it’s not a charitable add-on—it’s a better business model
Thomas is a contributor to AdWeek where he recently shared some of his thoughts on brands and purpose. Click here to read the original article. In a branding sense, purpose has become like Pokémon. Everybody is searching for it, but nobody really knows why. Much like...
Thomas discusses purpose with WARC at Cannes Lions 2018
Thomas sat down with advertising effectiveness experts WARC during Cannes Lions 2018 to discuss opportunities and pitfalls surrounding corporate purpose.
Dear Lions: stop being nice, be brutal
This opinion was originally featured in The Drum Cannes Lions for once didn’t miss a heartbeat in supporting a growing business community that stands behind the Sustainable Development Goals agenda and this year introduced a Sustainable Development Goals Lion of its...
Hate something, change something: how marketing can make a difference
If you need change, who do you call? As ad land begins to embrace sustainability, purpose and goodvertising like a kid in a candy store, I witness marketing agencies slide down the client’s calling list as fast as that ex who just won’t let go. The marketing industry...
Sustainable Brands x Pixelis: Paris 2019
Sustainable Brands has just announced it will be partnering with Pixelis, a branding agency committed to design, innovation and sustainability, for Pan-European event in Paris in 2019. It will be the largest of its kind on the continent, in a city that has become a...
Impact vs. making a good impression: interview with M & M Finland
Thomas Kolster was recently interviewed by Marketing & Advertising Finland. This is the translated article - you can see the original here. Enjoy! Responsibility is on everyone's lips, but few marketing impressions have real impact - "Words and actions do not...
Creativity for Good: Catch us at the Upcoming D&AD Festival
Some snapshots from the D&AD Festival exploring how we can use creativity to make impact on society, sustainability, and our work matter more.
Corporate America Swings from Sobs to Silence in this year’s Super Bowl
It was a sad Super Bowl. Sad, as only Trump can say it. Saaad. On the one hand, a fast-talking, cunning clown tried to sell me stuff as ad land usually does best. On the other, I felt emotionally mistreated by a sobbing stranger playing curling with my heart....
The new brand power: Empowerment
The new power is empowerment, unravels how and why brands need to redefine the good life and give individuals the power to get involved in this process.
What it takes to win a D&AD Impact Award
This week I was invited to judge the D&AD Impact Awards for the 2nd year in a row. It’s an important initiative, as it not only shines light on important environmental and social issues, but aim to solve them. D&AD already one of the most recognized awards globally in...
A bear gets sustainability right!
You need a bear to explain sustainability – I absolutely love the simplicity of the message: The Bare Necessities. Isn’t that really what life is about?
Struktureret SoMe, website og event koordinator søges
Goodvertising mangler en struktureret medarbejder, som kan være med til at skubbe bevægelsen fremad. Det forventes at du har en skarp pen og kan skrive på engelsk. Arbejdsopgaver er blandede som f.eks. at opdatere Goodvertising.info og de sociale medier, kommunikation...
From Cairo to Istanbul – When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
Traveling in markets like Turkey and Egypt it’s easy to get pessimistic about the outlook or for that sake if you live in Britain faced with #Brexit or in the US faced with Trumpism.
#CoffeeAndGoodvertising with Mathias Vikstrøm
I had a cup of coffee with Mathias Vikström, CEO of RBK Communication and one of the brilliant men behind the Åland Index and I couldn’t let him leave before I got this interview
2016 Goodvertising Top 10
We’ve picked the Top 10 Goodvertising work from 2016 – have a look and see if you agree?
What is Goodvertising?
Are you not really sure what Goodvertising actually is? Thomas Kolster has the answer.
In Georgia CSR-determination wins
CSR efforts can grow under even challenging circumstances. This was true when I visited Belarus and my recent visit to Georgia proved it again.
Coke’s new campaign signals a global offensive against slumping sales
While Coke’s new campaign might be killing the brand, could it be revitalizing sales?
Documentary film reveals slave-like conditions behind South African wine labels, but is it doing the cause a disservice?
The film Bitter Grapes is calling for the Scandinavian supermarkets to live up to their corporate social responsibility efforts as well as leaving me and you with the hasty message about “choose your wine responsibly”. The film’s pointed finger bothers me, so here is what the film should have done.
A Reason to Smile – Sustainable Brands Bangkok: Behind the Scenes
Join behind the scenes from Sustainable Brands Bangkok, which offered a culinary journey and inspiration from Thais pioneering a local food movement.
Take a leak for your neighborhood…
Danish supermarket chain Irma uses untraditional methods in a new campaign, “Slå en streg for din bydel/Take a leak for your neighborhood”, at the annual Culture Night in Copenhagen today, where they test Danes’ “organic condition” using 13 mobile toilets.
More than 400 Norwegian marketers coming together for inspiration
The Norwegian advertising association had invited me to do a keynote at their yearly and largest event – Den Store Annonsørdagen – The Big Advertiser’s Day.
Creativity can make a REAL difference proves D&AD Impact Award
Finally an award celebrating impact rather than empty words and awareness: D&AD Impact Award. I was honoured to join the judging alongside creative minds like Jamie Oliver and David Droga.
African Cristal gives out Goodvertising Grand Prix
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of judging the 4th African Cristal Awards in Marrakesh. The Awards also saw a novel collaboration between Cristal and Goodvertising as it was decided to award the very first “Goodvertising Grand Cristal”.
I was too single-minded.
I should be more media-savvy than falling for this recent press story. It’s a stark reminder about the power of the press.
Judge Nomination for The Marketing Can Change The World Award
Proud to be judging the Marketing Can Change The World Award by The Drum
Be Ruthlessly Simple or Fail
A blog post originally featured in an African magazine dedicated to sustainability “How Now”.
Forget everything you do today: People don’t like adverts!
Too much advertising has the opposite effect to that intended, and it’s high time brands realized that, author Thomas Kolster told the Media360Summit in Hong Kong.
Happy to be joining the Sustainable Brands European Host Committee bringing the event to Copenhagen
Really excited to join the Sustainable Brands Host committee to bring the European event from London to Copenhagen.
Je parle Français – Goodvertising now in French!
French edition of Goodvertising coming out September 30th. What to expect?
How can the world’s most inspiring storytellers unite with businesses to accelerate change?
I’m excited to share with you our upcoming change project together with North Europe’s biggest documentary film festival: CPH:DOX. Do write me if you want to join or support this amazing initiative – lots of exciting possibilities for brands and organisations. Read more here.
10 Cannes Lions Winning #Goodvertising Campaigns
Check out this selection of 10 astonishing award-winning Cannes Lions #Goodvertising campaigns
Recycling yes, but in the right bin?
Initiative from Sao Paolo. Most recycling bins ask people to sort the garbage into different categories, but do people really bother?
Honoured to be judging EACA Care Awards
The EACA Care Awards is the 6th award I’ll be judging over the last two years, which is an important way for me to keep up-to-date.
There’s plenty to be optimistic about when it comes to advertising in 2015! Finally brands are beginning to recognize that it’s not about pushing messages and snappy jokes at people, but actually seeing where they can play a meaningful role in people’s lives
#SB14London: Innovating for Sustainability – A Game of Two Halves?
This sustainability tag-team took the audience at Sustainable Brands in London on a journey towards new thought processes in problem-solving.
Marketing Is from Mars, Sustainability Is from Venus
Most brands are still scarily silent about the difference they want to make in our lives and yet hope we won’t notice them force-feeding us with advertising-as-usual
Contribution to TrendBook 2014 by Hatalska
TrendBook 2014 by Polish marketing expert Hatalska presents an analysis of the five top trends for the next year and I’ve contributed to the chapter about sustainable development.
Good acts and #Goodvertising in the Danish news daily Politiken
An interview about good acts, prank it forward and random acts of kindness in Danish news daily Politiken
After a period of increasing demand for shorter advisory sessions I have decided to launch a formal “Expert 1-on-1” through Skype or phone
The Responsible Business Summit saw the death and resurrection of the CSR Report
When the Ethical Corporation invited me to a conference called the “Responsible Business Summit”, I already had two matches in bullshit bingo “Ethical” and “Responsible”. I assumed we had moved on from the responsible smokescreen to discuss what really moves 99,9% of companies: Money or the fear of losing it.
How to make #goodvertising
Advertising is facing a world that doesn’t want it any more. We are facing the dire reality of a world with scarcer resources and consumers that are tired of brands behaving like self-serving dictators. Goodvertising offers a new way forward where it’s about serving real needs instead of creating wants.
‘Goodvertising’ Trashed at Super Bowl
In terms of share of voice, there’s no doubt about it: standard advertising outmuscled the David-like attempts of Goodvertising to bring a different narrative forward — one that advocates caring for each other and our planet.
NEW WORKSHOP: Stand for something rather than everything
Brands need to have a single-minded sustainability preposition instead of a save-all approach that often equals save-nothing. Those who succeed in the green space stand for something like Bodyshop for animal cruelty free cosmetics.
[2014 trends] Nobody cares about sustainability
I hear that statement often when I’m doing a talk or presenting to a group of marketing directors. It’s often delivered as a defiant outburst or a sarcastic mumbling,”Our clients don’t care about sustainability!” or, “Our clients won’t pay more for sustainable products!”
Welcome to the conference Sustainable Bottom Line
Together with Denmark’s biggest financial news daily Børsen and marketing magazine Markedsføring I’m putting together a conference called Sustainable Bottom Line.
A transparent market means rethinking the ways brands advertise
In the transparent marketplace it’s what you do, not what you say, that makes the difference, and that’s good for sustainability.
It’s Time for Big Business to Go Back to School
Nelson Mandela once remarked: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and I’m inclined to agree. In a world riddled with social ills, one common factor becomes evident, and that is the pivotal role of education in shaping our society.
Book a talk or workshop
Book a talk or workshop now - and get the insights behind Goodvertising
Where Should the ‘Responsibility’ in CSR End?
A company’s responsibility used to stop at the factory gates, but now covers the entire life cycle of the product from cradle to grave. But where does this responsibility end?
The empty roar of the Cannes Lion and an ad industry in distress
For a global gathering of the most brilliant minds from agencies it was shocking to notice that 99.9% of their so-called creativity is still used to sell more stuff instead of taking on the biggest challenges of this century: the darkening clouds of the social and environmental crisis lurking in the horizon.
Launch of WhereGoodGrows at Sustainable Brands in San Diego
Just returned from 4 inspiring days in San Diego at Sustainable Brands where I also launched wheregoodgrows.com
Myanmar – an Asian Kitten with Growing Pains
I was speaking last week at an advertising summit in Yangon, Myanmar and it was an exciting opportunity to get a look at a cute Asian kitten before it grows into yet another Tiger.
Sustainability is the new competition – learnings from Sustainable Brands
The theme of collaboration once again came through in the surprisingly honest and insightful experiences that the marketers shared with one another at Sustainable Brands in London.
Goodvertising: How We Can Make Sustainabilty Attractive.
Thomas Kolster shares his views on how to make sustainability attractive through communication.
Africa wants African solutions
At the conference Sustain Our Africa I saw a continent that’s far from the picture painted by most Western media of hardship, struggle and poverty
Sustainability – what’s really in it for me?
An estimated 80% of US consumers are interested in sustainability in some shape or form. The mainstream market for sustainable products is definitely there.
Can superyachts be green?
Even though it might sound like greening up a Hummer, which eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2010, it’s nevertheless a welcomed step. Yes, Hummer and the superyachts have certain similarities, it’s really not a necessity, but a luxury bestowed the few.
What did you do to try and stop it?
If you’re willing to come along, we can do it; and if you aren’t – we’re going without you. As I have argued, no matter where you are in the hamster wheel as a marketer, we can change towards a sustainable and respectable future.
Please, mom and dad, send more planets
Our ignorance has left much of our planet in a state of emergency. Our natural resources are depleted, we are faced with catastrophically high carbon levels, a destruction of half the earth’s biodiversity, exhaustion of our oceans’ fish stocks and toxins and metals in most living beings on the planet. I could go on and on.
We want you to take your very best ideas, and give them away
When compiling our cases for the book, Goodvertising, we noticed that while there was certainly a trend towards more sustainable communication, there was no central source or archive where one could go and find this work. As a destination for both inspiration and sharing best-practices – we have created the first website of its kind in the world – WhereGoodGrows.
Why we need to win the sustainability battle with Goodvertising
If we look at the advertising landscape of today, 99% of the messages out there communicate nothing more than: Consume the world, which unfortunately leaves slim odds for a more responsible, sustainable voice to gain traction.
Am I at all qualified to write a book?
Ignore the skeptics, the non-believers and change what you can. Dare to dream and do big things!
Don’t be afraid of green washing, be afraid of green nothing
I really don’t see green washing as a problem. I see it as a potential. It is a brand’s first unsecure step in a good direction, a brand that is trying to walk the talk of sustainability.
Beautiful LOHAS infographic done by our friends at Metaphoria
Our friends from Metaphoria have done the very beautiful infographic in my book “Goodvertising” showcasing a consumer segment called LOHAS which stands for Lifestyle for Health and Sustainability.
What brands can learn from the fall of Mubarak and why advertising will become goodvertising
“The people want to bring down the regime! The people want to bring down the regime!” As the shouting barely has silenced in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the echoes should be an everlasting reminder to any oppressor; the power lies in the people. I think there is an equally important lesson to be learned for brands and companies. The days where brands could get away with claiming that they are “bigger, better and stronger” – like a dictator – are over.
Would you put your name to that?
For advertising agencies it’s long been a tradition to add their names to print ads they have made for their clients. It’s almost like a statement: See what we’ve made. I like it and encourage it (if done on all their ads). What a great transparent way to tell consumers (and potential clients) what work you have done and that you’re proud enough of it to put your name to it. But what are agencies willing to put their name to? Cigarettes? Fossil fuels? Advertising aimed at children? Unhealthy ingredients? Alcohol?
Consumers expect you to deliver value
Consumers have lost faith in brands. A global consumer research study, “Brand Sustainable Futures”, by Havas Media, of over 30 000 people spanning 4 continents and 9 markets found that two thirds of consumers say that they don’t care whether the majority of brands survive or not.