Screw the Nice Gestures, Advertisers — We Need More Real Impact

Thomas Kolster provides a behind-the-scenes look from a Sustainable Development Goals jury member at last week’s Cannes Lions. Making change happen beats good intentions — and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have spawned creativity that actually solves...

How the Sustainable Development Goals manage in Cannes

Interview with Danish Bureaubiz: Mr. Goodvertising has been in the jury of the strong SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) category which focuses on solving the planet's problems. Here are the trends and tendencies plus a small handful of advice for Danish brands and...

How brands and directors can help advertising be better

This year’s Young Director Award, which takes place in Cannes on June 20 at the Palais Stephanie, will feature an inspiring and insightful talk from renowned thought-leader, author, sustainability advocate and marketing guru, Thomas Kolster. Interview with Thomas...

Thomas Kolster: How brands need to embrace a changing world

Thomas Kolster in an interview with Liz Gyekye, Bio Market Insights, on how brands need to embrace a radically changing world. Sustainability has shifted from a “nice to have” to a core element of business strategy for many global companies. Author, critic,...

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...

World Bio Markets 2019 It was an honour being a keynote speaker at World Bio Markets 2019 in Amsterdam. In this interview, I'm talking about how sustainability has changed the past few years. It has gone from a niche topic to a mainstream focus that every brand...

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!...

Join me at Sustainable Brands Nordic on 24 January!

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...

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...

Part-time junior project manager and/or PA wanted!

Super structured, great with clients, fluent in English and used to working in an international environment? Then you might be just who we’re looking for! We’re currently on the hunt for a new junior project manager to take the lead on a number of client projects....

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...

Goodvertising & the Future of Smart cities at JCDecaux

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...

Keynote at Egypt’s Only Creative Industry Summit

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 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.

Disruptor Postcast w. Thomas Kolster, Advertising Week

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...

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 og de sociale medier, kommunikation...

Interview At Sustainable Brands in Rio 2016

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.

Interview at EPICA Awards 2016

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....

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.

Article in ArabAd: Epica – Travel to the heart of Adland

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.

Article in The Nation: “Brands must inspire consumers”

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.

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.

WORK SUCKS: Memo to all agency peers

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...

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.

UBA, Trends Day 2016, Thomas Kolster, Goodvertising

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).

#SBCT16: What value does advertising bring to your life?

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.

Goodvertising & Thomas Kolster at Eurobest – The European Festival of Creativity in Advertising

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?

Keynote from Sustainable Brands Buenos Aires

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.

How cool is this mag cover?

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...

Was Cannes “Good” Enough?

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: When advertising serves a higher purpose

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...

The Guardian Interview

Author and ex-ad professional Thomas Kolster on the responsibility of advertising and why its role must change

Dare to stand out: Develop Follow-Worthy Brands

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.

INTERVIEW for Polish CSR News 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.

Hurrahhh 2015

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

A Cup for Charity: Copenhagen’s Pop Up Charity Shop

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...

It pays to speak up for sustainability (In Danish)

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....

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.

The Brand and the citizen

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...

Goodvertising at Innovative Media Summit: SWIM

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...

Expert 1-on-1

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!”

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.

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.


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.

‘Goodvertising” in Guardian Sustainable Business

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.

Review of Goodvertising by oscocio

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

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

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.


Thomas Kolster © 2019