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 a fundamental mistake with environmental marketing—they spend too much time preaching to the choir.

“If we are not trying to reach the people who aren’t agreeing with us, then why are we doing this?” he asks. “I really want to reach out to all the other people who are still not involved. We are living on this little blue planet together, and we have to reach the other half who are not agreeing with us right now—that is pivotal for our success.”

Kolster is the founder and creative director at Copenhagen-based Goodvertising Agency, which advises companies and organizations on topics ranging from sustainability to societal and health risks. As part of a series added to Ad Age’s weekly Marketer’s Brief podcast, Kolster on a monthly basis breaks down recent purpose-fueled ads and campaigns, highlighting hits and misses while offering advice on how brands can do better.

On the newest podcast, Kolster shares more perspective on why he thinks too many brands and agencies are not doing enough to persuade people who might need more convincing about the negative effects of climate change.

While plenty of purpose ads are winning awards, he says the marketing is still falling short in many cases. “A lot of brands, a lot of agencies, are really wasting their media budgets targeting the people who already agree with them,” he said.

He points to a campaign called “Don’t Choose Extinction” from the United Nations Development Programme. It uses a CGI dinosaur urging dignitaries to avoid the dinosaurs’ fate—extinction—by making changes to tackle the climate crisis. The effort specifically targets the $423 billion per year that the UN says the government spends subsidizing fossil fuels. The film ran as an ad in movie theaters for eight weeks in 30 countries and in 16 languages—and the UN even brought the dinosaur, called Frankie the Dino, to Cannes. Agencies on the campaign include Wunderman Thompson and Activista.

Watch it here:

But Kolster criticized the use of a dinosaur to spread the message, which he said portrays people that need convincing of climate change dangers as some sort of Fred Flinstone characters. “Choose a spokesperson that these people listen to,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be much more interesting if it was an oil executive?”

Also on the podcast, Kolster discusses new guidelines put out by the World Federation of Advertisers that advise brands on how to make environmental claims in marketing that are credible for consumers and regulators. The guidance, which can be found here, includes one provision that advises marketers against using “environmental signs and symbols in a way that falsely suggests official approval or third-party certification.” The WFA also advises marketers to supply supporting information when with “carbon neutral” claims.

Check out the full podcast here:


© 2020 Thomas Kolster. All Rights Reserved.

Share This