Originally featured in CampaignAsia


MEDIA360 SUMMIT – 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. Changing business models, switching agencies and constantly launching new campaigns will not change brands’ fortunes. Instead they need to fundamentally reassess the purpose of their advertising. That was the top-level message at Media360Summit from Thomas Kolster, author and expert in sustainable communication. He said it was time for brands to finally confront the fact that people don’t really like advertising and stop tinkering at the edges to find the right marketing formula. “Forget everything you do today,” he said. “Forget about programmatic, about ROIs and retargeting. And do what you know best: Be human, be yourself. Take a look at your own daily life, how could advertising fit into your day?

“Take pre-roll: The only thing people are looking at is the skip button.” Brands need to stop pushing new products and instead seek to connect around much more meaningful topics, he told delegates. He said that it was no coincidence that at companies like Unilever, sustainable brands grow twice as quickly as conventional ones.

“I believe that if you do something good for people, it’s good for the brand’s bottom line,” he said. “It’s that simple. “That’s what I’ve dubbed Goodvertising—and I see local to global brands embracing this movement in an attempt to repair the broken relationship and create communication that respects people as people rather than sitting ducks waiting to consume. “Just see the latest strategy shift from P&G’s Always brand, moving away from doctors dressed in white lab coats doing these Frankenstein like blue ink tests to empowering young girls with the campaign, “Like a girl”. They succeeded in creating conversations around something that mattered to these girls.” Too much advertising is like sitting next to a “prick” at a dinner party, who keeps talking about himself and his accomplishments without ever asking how you feel, he claimed. “That strategy doesn’t work in real life, and it doesn’t work in ad land,” he said. “Digital opens up exciting new possibilities, but most brands are still caught up in the old, interruption zero-sum mindset. It’s time to change.”


© 2020 Thomas Kolster. All Rights Reserved.

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