24th August

Ads, authenticity and action.

Mindfulness Over Purpose

Nowadays, a lot of brands are speaking about ‘purpose’ to try and outline the reason why they exist outside of making money. 

The mass-adoption of the word has turned ‘purpose’ into an overused and ill-defined buzzword, originating from consumer demands to purchase from companies which stand for the issues they’re passionate about. 

Rather than aiming to push ‘purpose’, companies should opt for mindfulness by focusing primarily on being conscious and aware of the world around them. Contrary to ‘purpose’, which aims to convince customers that the company has an interest beyond profits; mindfulness simply focuses on acting in a way which is favourable to the world. 

Mindfulness cares about people before anything else, and it can be broken down into three Core Elements:

  1. Ensuring all advertising includes an accurate portrayal of people
  2. Taking a stand on issues that matter 
  3. Improving equality and representations within the company itself 

 

The Case for Value-Driven Marketing

When done right, value-driven marketing has high success rates, and the brand managed to convince consumers to purchase solely because of the values that the company holds. 

According to the study carried out by Eldman in 2018, 64% of buyers are belief-driven. This statistic holds worldwide; with belief-driven buyers holding the percentage majority in all markets. 

64%

ARE BELIEF-DRIVEN BUYERS

Eldman (2018) also discovered that people see brands as a force for change, with approximately half of the respondents putting more trust in brands than they do in their own government when it comes to affecting social change.

All figures are pointing to increasing demand in ads for social change. Consumers are showing a greater desire to know what brands’ values are, and it’s expected that consumer expectations will keep rising as more and more brands adopt this approach.

Joining the Disruption

There’s no longer any doubt whether or not value-driven ads will disrupt the way marketing is done. The disruption is already underway and the best way to approach it is to embrace it and lead it.

Always’ ‘Like A Girl’ campaign in 2015 paved the way for value-driven marketing, with its focus on turning a toxic phrase into one that inspires confidence. Gilette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’ and ‘First Shave’ were two campaigns launched by the brand with the aim of addressing toxic masculinity.

Gilette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’ ad was a great success for the brand. The brand recorded an improved brand sentiment from Gen Z, millennials and even Gen X.

Despite this, the brand faced a backlash from groups of people who claimed that the ad was akin to ‘a war on masculinity in America’.

The team behind the campaign still considers it to be a success. It was expected that different people will see the ad from different points of view. Once the backlash died down, the message once again became a positive one about being a role model for the next generation.

When approaching value-driven advertising there’s always a fine line to tread between a successful advert and one that is tone-deaf and insensitive to the cause. An example of an unsuccessful advert is the ‘Black Lives Matter’ ad run by Pepsi in 2017.

Arguably, both a successful and an unsuccessful ad will create their own kinds of disruption. The aim is to strive towards ‘constructive disruption’, where a value-driven ad strives to add value to its viewers and customers.

CONSTRUCTIVE DISRUPTION

All figures are pointing to increasing demand in ads for social change. Consumers are showing a greater desire to know what brands’ values are, and it’s expected that consumer expectations will keep rising as more and more brands adopt this approach.

Product Placement in Value-Driven Ads

Whatever social cause a company decides to endorse, it must be consistent with the core equity of the brand. There must be a reason for the brand to want to express its point of view on the issues, and that reason shouldn’t just be to push the product forward.

In fact, the most successful value-driven ads leave the product out completely. Ultimately, the main aim of a value-driven ad is to communicate an authentic message that reflects the values of the brand.

VALUE-DRIVEN ADVERTS

Introducing the product into the ad is a more explicit call to drive sales, and it detracts from the appeal of the ad.

It’s the authenticity of the message that draws people towards the product, and ultimately drives sales. Attempting to adopt a hard-selling approach in a value-driven ad will never work.

Is it worth it?

Taking all this into consideration – is it really worth investing in value-driven ads?

Value-driven ads are difficult to craft and the company won’t feel the effect in their sales figure within the same month, so it’s easy to question whether they’re worth investing in.

Given the shift in trends towards purchasing from socially conscious companies, value-driven ads are the way to go.

The company may not see an immediate rise in sales figures, but it will enjoy a favourable positioning in the mind of customers and increased customer loyalty which comes from their loyalty to the cause.

Author
Benji Borg
Co-Founder

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