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...
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...
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.
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...
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 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...
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 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...
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 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...
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...
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...
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!...
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 sat down with advertising effectiveness experts WARC during Cannes Lions 2018 to discuss opportunities and pitfalls surrounding corporate purpose.
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...
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 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...
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...
Some snapshots from the D&AD Festival exploring how we can use creativity to make impact on society, sustainability, and our work matter more.
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 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.
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...
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?
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...
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.
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
We’ve picked the Top 10 Goodvertising work from 2016 – have a look and see if you agree?
Are you not really sure what Goodvertising actually is? Thomas Kolster has the answer.
CSR efforts can grow under even challenging circumstances. This was true when I visited Belarus and my recent visit to Georgia proved it again.
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.
Join behind the scenes from Sustainable Brands Bangkok, which offered a culinary journey and inspiration from Thais pioneering a local food movement.
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.
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.
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.
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 should be more media-savvy than falling for this recent press story. It’s a stark reminder about the power of the press.
Proud to be judging the Marketing Can Change The World Award by The Drum
A blog post originally featured in an African magazine dedicated to sustainability “How Now”.
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.
Really excited to join the Sustainable Brands Host committee to bring the European event from London to Copenhagen.
French edition of Goodvertising coming out September 30th. What to expect?
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.
Check out this selection of 10 astonishing award-winning Cannes Lions #Goodvertising campaigns
Initiative from Sao Paolo. Most recycling bins ask people to sort the garbage into different categories, but do people really bother?
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
This sustainability tag-team took the audience at Sustainable Brands in London on a journey towards new thought processes in problem-solving.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
Together with Denmark’s biggest financial news daily Børsen and marketing magazine Markedsføring I’m putting together a conference called Sustainable Bottom Line.
In the transparent marketplace it’s what you do, not what you say, that makes the difference, and that’s good for sustainability.
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 now - and get the insights behind Goodvertising
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?
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.
Just returned from 4 inspiring days in San Diego at Sustainable Brands where I also launched wheregoodgrows.com
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.
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.
Thomas Kolster shares his views on how to make sustainability attractive through communication.
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
An estimated 80% of US consumers are interested in sustainability in some shape or form. The mainstream market for sustainable products is definitely there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ignore the skeptics, the non-believers and change what you can. Dare to dream and do big things!
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.
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.
“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.
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 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.