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!...
Biomimicry, blockchain technology, neurodiversity, less meat and more windpower. This is the future of sustainability…or is it? Is it more, less - or something else entirely? We’ll explore this and so much more at the Sustainable Brands Nordic event in Copenhagen on...
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...
Hosting the recent Open House at JCDecaux in Paris, Thomas Kolster spoke on the need to rethink purpose and profit and the opportunity for goodvertising to play its part in tackling the issues we colossal issues we currently face globally. In this interview he talks...
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 time has come to walk the walk. Thomas Kolster talks on how we need to turn the advertising industry on its head to serve our needs and sustainability on this planet, also acknowledging that change is a two way street, and our opportunity as consumers to do our...
The MENA region’s top creative summit and Egypt's first and only hub for the creative ecosystem, the Egypt Creative Industry Summit is devoted to Egypt’s creatives and their designs, advertisements, marketing campaigns, arts, performances, and films. See more about it...
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.
Thrilled to join a legendary roster of Disruptors for a podcast with TBWA CEO NYC Rob Schwartz during #AdvertisingWeekNYC - put your headphones on! LIVE conversations with 6 Disruptors: Jon Bond of Tomorro, Abigail Posner of Google, Thomas Kolster, writer of...
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...
By Thomas Kolster for The Drum, June 28, 2017. Image credits: Leaving Cannes, I feel even more schizophrenic than I did during my hard-working years in ad land. On the one hand it’s been the best year ever in the festival’s history for advertising that does...
“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...
"I lied to you, trust me now" at APAN Annual Congress in Lisbon, Jun 1. A keynote and following Q&A for the Portuguese Advertising Association in Cascais, Portugal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eukTuMCueAI
Companies seeking to build advertising and marketing strategy around purpose need to ask themselves, “Are we here to create a better future for the few or for the many?”
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.
Purpose is like Pokémon – Everybody is searching for it, but nobody really knows why…
Thomas Kolster activates purpose at Sustainable Brands ’16 in Bangkok.
Simon Robinson, Co-author of “Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter” and “Customer Experiences with Soul: A New Era in Design” has followed Thomas Kolster’s journey since 2014 and watched him taking his message of Goodvertising around the world. At Sustainable Brands 2016 in Bangkok they met again.
The political unrest seems to be good for advertising with a conscience, as this year’s Super Bowl saw the highest number of Goodvertising campaigns ever.
Sustainable Brands ’16 Copenhagen – The Evolution of Purpose in Brand Strategy, Marketing and Advertising
Thomas Kolster is busting purpose monsters in this humorous presentation at SB '16 Copenhagen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFTL3vmR-4Q
In 2016 overwork resulted in the death of a Dentsu employee – But is work really worth dying for? Article by Thomas Kolster for The Drum.
What started as a book has become a movement – and brands are finally starting to realize that success is not just about selling stuff but about creating a meaningful difference in peoples lives.
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?
The Epica Award is the Golden Globe of advertising judged by the global advertising press. Thomas Kolster delivered a keynote about Goodvertising and the importance of the ad industry to embrace sustainability as a business opportunity and creative wrecking ball....
For the first time ever, Goodvertising went to Georgia and here, the media were on point.
At the 30th annual Golden Globe of advertising, Epica Awards, it was clear that goodvertising is now truly on its way forward.
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.
Last week Epica Awards celebrated 30 years of creativity. Founded in 1987, Epica is the only creative prize awarded by journalists working for marketing and communications magazines around the world. Launched as the first European advertising competition, today it is an international celebration of creativity, attracting thousands of entries from more than 70 countries. During the event I was lucky to sit down with ArabAd and talk CSR and Goodvertising.
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.
At “Sustainable Brands 2016 Bangkok” Michael Dickstein, global manager for sustainable development at Heineken International, and Thomas Kolster, founder of Goodvertising, shared their views and experience on how brands can do good for their customers and their communities.
How can advertising make the world a better place? How can brands come across as genuine and compassionate? And what can you do to inspire your own workplace to do business in a better way? Lovin Malta spoke to Thomas Kolster in the run up to this weekends workshop in Malta.
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.
In this thought-provoking session from Sustainable Brands Barcelona, Thomas will kill 5 dominating myths about sustainability.
Dear agency peers – if you had to write a memo to your colleagues in the ad industry guiding them towards creative excellence, how would it read? You probably read one attempt at such a message last week from TBWA\CHIAT\DAY’s NYC creative top dog Rob Schwartz, which...
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”.
At Sustainable Brands 2016 in Copenhagen, Thomas Kolster confronted companies with his introduction of a two-headed purpose monster and the notion: “For me purpose is like Pokemon. Everyone is searching for it but no one really knows why.”
Interview in Romanian Ad Hugger about the creativity, the inspiration and the man behind the Goodvertising movement.
I should be more media-savvy than falling for this recent press story. It’s a stark reminder about the power of the press.
Interview in the Romanian business weekly Business Review about the development of marketing & sustainability in Romania.
Proud to be judging the Marketing Can Change The World Award by The Drum
Opinion originally featured in The Drum. The majority of do-good efforts from brands are ridiculous and nothing but a cheeky pick-up line to charm consumers into buying more.
I joined the Danish Tv Morning Show Go' Morgen Danmark on the biggest commercial tv channel TV2 in Denmark for a discussion about the future of advertising. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz9IcI_wwAE
Article from originally brought in the Huffington Post: As an industry we’re ignorant at best or utterly demagogic, one-sided and irresponsible at worst. The majority of do-good efforts from brands are ridiculous and nothing but a cheeky pick-up line to charm consumers into buying more
More than 1,300 communications, media and marketing professionals from Belgium and beyond gathered at the annual UBA Trends Day on 10 March 2016 in Brussels, organised by the Belgian Advertisers Association (UBA).
A blog post originally featured in an African magazine dedicated to sustainability “How Now”.
Cindy Gallop, Visa’s Nick Jones and Mr Goodvertising author Thomas Kolster to judge first Marketing Can Change the World Awards
Article featured in CampaignAsia following Thomas Kolster’s appearance at Media360 Summit in Hong Kong
Sustainable Brands Barcelona 2016 hears from the biggest names in the space. Here’s small sum-up of Thomas Kolter’s appearance.
Through Goodvertising, Thomas is challenging the way we do business and advertising. A speaker at the inaugural Sustainable Brands Cape Town conference, recently held in the Mother City, Kolster’s session focused on the changing landscape of advertising.
My #goodvertising keynote from Campaign Asia’s Media360 Summit, which is Asia’s premier industry event, attended by the world’s heavyweight media stakeholders.
INTERVIEW: Sustainability and problem-solving are key to the success of a company, says Thomas Kolster, author of the book Goodvertising.
An interview done by Dallas Antwerp after my talk at UBA Trends Day in Brussels, 2016.
Interview in Belgian National Radio, La Premiere.
Thomas Kolster on ‘Simplifying sustainability communications’ or “Be Ruthlessly Simple or Fail” at Sedex Conference 2016, London
Interview following the SB Copenhagen event about key focus areas for the year ahead, explore the changing role of ‘advertising for good,’ and discuss the sustainability landscape in Scandinavia.
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.
My recent talk at Eurobest. While creativity is what pushes our industry forward, this sessio will argue that it’s also what leaves us stagnating if not applied properly. Today any serious creative should think about impact. How can my idea impact the most people and make the biggest difference rather than just being a creative push-up to impress creative directors, industry peers and win an award?
Really excited to join the Sustainable Brands Host committee to bring the European event from London to Copenhagen.
In the Danish Marketing Associations first publication of the book The M List Thomas was named among the 200 most inspiring marketing and advertising professionals in Denmark. See more here: (Only in Danish).
How to be more creative (and effective) in your sustainability communication. Introducing #Humour, #MachoEco and #Tech
Sustainable Brands Buenos aires brings more than 1500 Brand, sustainability & design leaders together to find inspiration, tools and partnerships to drive business success and positive impact.
I was happy to be back in Rio again. This time for Sustainable Brands.
The interview originally appeared in iMedia Why is now the time for advertisers to show ethical leadership? I’m sick and tired of hearing talk about responsibility, morals or ethics. Come on, it should be common sense. Advertising is a powerful shaper of...
You can order now from Amazon. Get the French edition click here.
Interview following the presentation at ExpoNegocios 2015 in Asunción, Paraguay.
Interview for the blog iSustainability
Once and a while you see a magazine go further to portray a Goodvertising story. I can't help but love what this Turkish marketing magazine has done with their cover. Maybe we should have gone more street cred with the original cover? Or maybe this is one for a...
In this article Thomas gives a rallying call to creatives, challenging us to let go of our pride, and recycle ideas.
French edition of Goodvertising coming out September 30th. What to expect?
Originally featured in Sustainable Brands This year, the hearts ran wild in Cannes. And I’m not hinting at the mysterious couple having an amicable rendezvous in the early hours of the morning on the red carpet in front of the Palais, but at the fact...
Interview about Goodvertising, CSR and the Slovakian market. Sorry not in English.
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
Sorry folks this interview is in Danish, but talks about my expectations to Cannes and my new role as member of the board at Creative Circle (Advertising organisation with the aim of improving the creativity in Danish advertising, they also run the national advertising award show: Creative Circle)
Green consumption raises multiple important questions businesses: What will be the expectations of the customer in the coming years? Panel discussion from The World Green Economy Summit 2015, Dubai.
I was recently asked by Sustainable Brands Media to share some quick points about the insurmountable wall between departments together with some other clever peeps. This is what happened.
Initiative from Sao Paolo. Most recycling bins ask people to sort the garbage into different categories, but do people really bother?
This interview was originally brought here Thomas Kolster is a leading international expert in sustainable communication. He’s the author of the book Goodvertising (Thames & Hudson); the most comprehensive book to date exploring communication as a force for...
Global Marketer Week 2015 brought together global marketing leaders from 30 countries, including the world’s biggest brands – to discuss among other things a way towards better marketing.
Author and ex-ad professional Thomas Kolster on the responsibility of advertising and why its role must change
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.
Have you already failed your New Year’s resolution to live a healthier and happier life? We are own biggest enemy and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can begin making real change.
From Social Media Week: An interactive and playful keynote and workshop session (Read: Playshop) that helps your business or (personal) brand develop meaningful conversations and engaged evangelists.
I’m really happy to be named “Top Sustainability Thinker & Commentator” on Twitter by Sustainly.
CSR.pl had the pleasure to talk to Mr. Thomas Koesler about his new book, his ideas, and new solutions in how your brand can grow by becoming a part of the quest for sustainability.
An interactive and playful keynote and workshop session (Read: Playshop) that helps your business or (personal) brand develop meaningful conversations and engaged evangelists.
I’m happy that Sustainable Brands have selected my book “Goodvertising” to be on the “Top 30 Sustainability Book”-list together with esteemed authors such as Paul Hawken, Al Gore, Umair Haque and John Elkington.
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
Everyone seems to have an answer to how we build a more sustainable world – but have we all understood the question? This session from Sustainable Brands London 2014 explores the theme.
This sustainability tag-team took the audience at Sustainable Brands in London on a journey towards new thought processes in problem-solving.
We’re at a time in history where there is a lot for brands to do besides a cheap sell or a hollow ‘pretending-to-be-different’ branding fix
These days, nobody looks twice when you see someone balancing a takeaway coffee cup in one hand and driving with the other as they weave through traffic. Indeed, even people who take it one step further – rushing past you in the street with a coffee and a croissant...
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
Thomas Kolster “Goodvertising – because advertising is no good” from Sustainable Brands Istanbul
My latest article from The Guardian: Advertising as usual won’t work in a changing world. Chipolte and G-Star Raw show how campaigns can respond to society’s biggest challenges.
The wrap-up session of the conference Sustainable Bottom Line (Bæredygtig Bundlinje), 13th March Copenhagen, by Thomas Kolster. Organizers: Børsen, Markedsføring & Goodvertising Agency. Sorry, it's in Danish. See more to the conference here....
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
DATE: MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014, London. Is it the duty of brands to tackle unsustainable consumption? And what are the early stage solutions that point to a future where this is possible? Surveys tell us that around 70% of citizens see it as important that we combat the...
Thomas Kolster from Goodvertising Agency give a talk on 'Goodvertising - How to Adapt Storytelling to attract a corporate world in change' at SWIM. BoostHbg is together with Film i Skåne, CPH:DOX, and New Danish Screen, partner of SWIM - Scandinavian World of...
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.
When brands start greener-than-thou battles both business and the environment are the winners, says Thomas Kolster
Creativity is needed more than ever to bring sustainability to our world. For brands, creating sustainable success begins with a simple premise—ask huge questions.
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.
…”leading by example and laying the foundation for our collective greatness”.
There’s a transformational shift happening and it’s picking up pace in the New Year. Business and its far-reaching (some might say overreaching) arm, advertising, are becoming more responsible, more caring and more sustainable.
If we want a better world, we need to tell a better story. Of all advertising out there, 99% says consume the world: buy this car and you’ll be sexier, or buy this toy and your kid will have more friends at school. Is it really a surprise, then, that when we talk about changing people’s behaviour and mindset in a sustainable direction, it seems like a herculean task? If you’re told something enough times you believe it – as advertising professionals, we know this.
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 is a heavy book. It’s a thorough look at advertising initiatives and campaigns of the last few years that have an ethical dimension. Given how many books are published on advertising and design (not to mention awards annuals and magazines) it’s surprising that something like Goodvertising hasn’t been published before
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.
In all the debate about a new responsible revolution – in the articles, on the blogs and on the bookshelf, what has been sorely lacking is the call for creative communication. I missed the confidence, the firm belief that we as the communications industry can make a real world-changing difference. I can’t help pushing for this again and again. We can solve these worldwide problems in a responsible, sustainable and engaging way. Not only do we know the market and the consumers, we have an abundance of skills that we have used to beg, cajole and convince consumers to buy things they may not particularly need.
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.
Thomas Kolster explains the revolutionizing sharing concept WhereGoodGrows at Social Media Week in the UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark. https://vimeo.com/88675466
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.
When our children are looking back on the way we did business, it will be as strange a notion as slavery is to us today. How could we be so oblivious to the harm we continue to inflict on people and the planet? Couldn’t we see the icebergs melting or the...