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...

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!...

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...

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

We want you to take your very best ideas, and give them away

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.

What brands can learn from the fall of Mubarak and why advertising will become goodvertising

“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.

Would you put your name to that?

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 expect you to deliver value

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.


Thomas Kolster © 2019