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    Advertising things…that make life better

    I know you all think it’ll be cool to win the Lotto, retire at 30 and spend all day playing Candy Crush on the couch. 

    By Susan Rowan, Digital Business Unit Director at Grey | May 5, 2016

    I know you all think it’ll be cool to win the Lotto, retire at 30 and spend all day playing Candy Crush on the couch. I’m not speaking from experience, but I reckon it would suck. Fun in the beginning, but eventually you’ll have no compelling reason to get out of your PJ’s or brush your hair in the morning.   That’s the life of someone who has no purpose. They just exist, they don’t actually have a positive impact on themselves or their community. It’s exactly the same for brands. If a company doesn’t have a purpose or something to stand for, it just exists. Adds no meaning and no value to its customers.

    Before you get excited, I’m not talking about Corporate Social Responsibility. That is cause-marketing. Regularly donating a portion of your sales to a charity that is vaguely related to your product or service.  These days there are loads of parity brands. Parity do-gooder brands are just as common. I personally love purpose-marketing because it forces you to stand for something. It’s an exaggeration of your brand, not something that’s in a CSI presentation as an add-on to the marketing & business strategy. Purpose-marketing IS your strategy. You still have to answer to your shareholders, you still have to be profitable…but the good news is that you probably will be if you are working towards the same purpose.

    Nike gets this right every time, and they have for years. The marketing team will know what their exact business purpose is, but I can take a wild stab that it has something to do with inspiring people to get moving. And it doesn’t matter what you look like or how you start. Just do it. I love this as a company’s purpose – motivating people to be fitter, healthier, better. Inspiring millions every single day. And using technology to connect their community. Did someone say sweat shops and child labour?  Sure, I heard it too. But that is a different topic altogether. Also, I’m assured that the amount of Corporate Social Responsibility that Nike does, with no PR benefit is massive.  

    The Dove campaign has been spoken about to death, but ultimately they have changed the way women have perceived beauty. Their purpose is to give women their confidence back. They stand for something that every women understands. It’s awesome when your brand purpose just so happens to be something that actually helps your country, your community or your customers in some way. If it doesn’t, and just contributes to the bottom line, that’s fine.

    As a Client Service veteran, I wouldn’t enjoy working on a brand that makes things that doesn’t make life better. And that’s why I get super excited about the work that Grey is doing for the CSIR ‘Ideas That Work’ campaign (The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research). When talking about purpose, you don’t get better than this – ‘The CSIR exists to improve the lives of everyday South Africans’

    *Making magic happen* is under construction – watch this space.

    www.csirideasthatwork.co.za

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