Directions supplement may_07


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Directions supplement may_07

  2. 2. Directions Monthly May 2007 Issue 12 Corporate responsibility in advertising With just about every brand now rushing to promote its environmental, ethical and responsibility credentials, we thought it was time to assess how much substance there really is to it all. In this specially extended edition of Directions Monthly we take a look at how deep CR really does go in these organisations and we try to identify what is strategic, and therefore likely to be sustainable, versus what is just opportunistic greenwash. To do this we have taken a (admittedly unscientific and subjective) look at advertising campaigns from around the world. These are our views as practitioners in the field of CR. But we don’t have to produce advertising for these companies, so we’ve also got an expert’s view. We have invited Cilla Snowball, Chairman of AMV.BBDO, to give us an insight into how two of her agency’s clients have approached the integration of aspects of CR into their consumer propositions – and it’s interesting stuff. Nigel Salter Lucie Harrild With corporate responsibility now playing a key role in mainstream consumer advertising there can no longer be any doubt about its contribution to a company or a brand’s reputation and success. Mass market campaigns now feature messages from the full range of CR issues: ethics, environment, social responsibility, climate change, and values are all being used A MORI poll in January to help market products. And there are some obvious reasons why this new wave of ethical 2005 reported that only adverts are being produced. A MORI poll in 5% of the UK population January 2005 reported that only 5% of the said the environment was UK population said the environment was ‘the most important issue facing Britain’. In ‘the most important issue January 2007, this had nearly quadrupled to 19%. And a new WPP study shows that climate facing Britain’. In January Nigel Salter change is now the number one issue that UK 2007, this had nearly consumers are hearing about – with 85% Director, salterbaxter hearing about it. A recent report by quadrupled to 19%. management consultancy Arthur D Little also explained how it saw leading companies and innovators moving beyond the original parameters of corporate responsibility. The report argues that real innovators are now focusing on what it terms the corporate responsibility opportunity or CRO. Their insight is accurate although their terminology is pure jargon. This all points to the fact that CR now has fully fledged commercial wings and it’s not rocket science to work out why. We think the real challenge is to identify what actually works and how to tell the difference between hot air and hot ideas...
  3. 3. Directions Monthly May 2007 Issue 12 An overview from salterbaxter… (A selection of campaigns reviewed and dissected) salterbaxter green rating guide 1 Dove itself along the side of the car to clean it all off. The ad finishes with a focus on the line The campaign for real beauty ‘Peugeot 206 HDi – Clean technology. Bleeds green Deep green ( Nature will remember’. What I like about this campaign is that it isn’t a defensive response to an awkward This is a classic case of a company simply subject. It’s true there was an issue for all trying to paint on some environmental Wishy-washy green Puke green fashion and cosmetics brands to think credentials. There may have been some about – but this wasn’t an obvious response. improvements to the car’s technology but This is a good contrast to the effective but in essence it’s the same product that has slightly defensive response of oil firms been marketed without the environmental talking about future energy sources. credentials for years. This is the sort of opportunistic adoption of a topical subject Dove’s campaign features real women (not that most consumers see straight through. models) and celebrates each one’s unique Not strategic and not particularly beauty. This taps into the very real debate imaginative. about how female models are too thin and how the world’s preoccupation with skinny waifs has contributed to undermining female self-esteem. Dove’s ads have also been adapted in clever ways to suit 3 Chevron different markets and challenge local Will you join us stereotypes. In Japan the campaign ( broached the subject of eyelid surgery and in Brazil they featured a woman with This campaign has been run across most small breasts. media but it all ties in to a website where Chevron state ‘To deliver the world’s Dove has also now launched a fund to help energy, we need yours first’. The site also organisations which address eating and features a brilliant counter device which self-esteem issues. shows how much oil and gas has been consumed globally during your visit to the To me this campaign is genuinely strategic site. The site is then basically a debate as it has completely re-directed the way in forum which airs views and analyses all the which this brand is talking to its customers. issues relating to the subject of the world’s It’s got substance. It’s focused on well energy needs. defined issues which are relevant. It’s groundbreaking and it has got proper As mentioned earlier, whatever the oil follow through outside the purely companies do has a hint of the defensive marketing aspects. This one works – and I’d because of the nature of this debate, so go further. This is one of the best examples cynics could just brush this campaign aside of the social and commercial combining to as ‘they would say that wouldn’t they’. But make a brand story more effective. there is real substance here and the open- ended debate approach could be argued to be less arrogant than BP’s ‘beyond petroleum’ positioning. 2 Peugeot This campaign is thoughtful, it has serious The Peugeot 206 HDi – ‘Le Mouton’ contributions from academic and other ( sources and it doesn’t shirk some of the difficult points. A good reference point for Run in France, this campaign shows a car any company seeking to engage in a debate parked in the countryside. It gets sprayed in rather than just pontificate. mud and is then approached by a sheep. The sheep looks at the mud then wipes continued >
  4. 4. Directions Monthly May 2007 Issue 12 An overview from salterbaxter continued 4 GE 6 HSBC So where’s this GE ecomagination HSBC Green Sale ( all taking us? This was a special campaign run from GE made a big noise about its investment December 2006 to January 2007 Things appear to be moving very fast. I think into R&D for green technologies and this is featuring a green paw print and explaining that even 12 months ago the picture for this the campaign that backs it all up. that for every product bought through the testing of the temperature would have given a green sale a sum of money would be remarkably cold reading. But there is no doubt From water desalination to energy efficient donated to nominated charities. I was that the full range of social and environmental lighting GE is now pouring millions of rather surprised by this campaign as HSBC issues are now factored into mainstream dollars into new products that help to have taken a generally sensible position in advertising and brand campaigns – and tackle environmental/sustainability issues. the CR debate. increasingly as the fundamental strategy. The So this is grounded in real change and is Diesel campaign also shows it’s already being possibly the most impressive commercial As far as I can see, this campaign is just parodied, a sure sign it’s in the mainstream. response from any major industrial opportunistic – a poor attempt to sell more company to this issue. There is obviously products on the back of donations to The big public issue of our times is climate huge financial potential in getting this charity. This isn’t innovative and I’d be very change and this will undoubtedly register as right too, so the advertising is crucial. surprised if it worked (happy to be told a big area of focus in the coming years. But otherwise though). Surely most people just does this usher in an era where companies will And the campaign doesn’t disappoint. see through this type of approach. be competing on climate friendly credentials? There are numerous different ads and they all paint an exciting picture of how The campaign was also confusing as it I think it probably does. technology can be applied to solve some didn’t really make clear which products big environmental challenges. There’s a it related to anyway. There appears to be a genuine transformation real spirit of adventure to the campaign of the landscape taking place. The key in all and it shows that green issues and All in all I think this is pretty disappointing this though is that consumers will see through technology don’t have to be boring. and it certainly doesn’t communicate a the companies that are simply applying a light clear-sighted, planned strategy from the green wash to help re-package existing This is again a perfect example of a bank. Surprising, as much of the work products. The test is whether or not the company working on the CR opportunity, they’ve done in the CR field is based on product is being dressed up or whether the bringing commercial thinking to bear on good substance. approach has deeper strategic roots. Dove’s some serious CR issues. I was just slightly approach was a full re-appraisal and concerned that some of the reality of what re-definition of the brand’s proposition. was being done wasn’t matching the hype HSBC’s green sale was just opportunistic. – but I don’t want to be too cynical. This is firmly rooted in business strategy and is a 7 Diesel I think responsible and ethical credentials powerful commercial proposition. Diesel Climate change ready are becoming the most important brand ( battleground for the coming years. But responsibility is becoming an essential though I’d also like to make a special mention not sufficient ingredient for a successful of the new Diesel ‘Climate change ready’ brand. Innovators will see this and really get 5 Ford campaign. Featuring it’s range of skimpy and cut back summer clothing this campaign to grips with the massive opportunity Ford Escape Hybrid presented. The followers will be found out. should stand as the best reminder to all of ( us not to take ourselves seriously – and Miss out on this transformation, A US ad for the hybrid mini 4x4. I don’t that irony and humour are rarely out of underestimate it or get it wrong at your peril. want to pick on the car industry but this is place. Top marks. an appalling example of some green gloss being applied. Yes the car is more fuel efficient but the ad actually features Kermit the frog (for no other reason than he’s green) and then at the end of the ad the blue Ford logo turns green before your eyes! To my mind this ad actually does a complete disservice to the technology that’s been applied to the car. This is almost a caricature of the stereotyped view of environmental issues – unless it’s being ironic? Possibly the best example I’ve seen of how not to address the CR/environmental agenda in marketing.
  5. 5. Directions Monthly May 2007 Issue 12 The view from the practitioner… We’re working on more and more CR campaigns with our clients and CR is definitely moving from corporate affairs silo to mainstream consumer and marketing priority. We’ve been working on CR programmes with our clients for several years now. It’s not a Case study 1 new phenomenon. Responsibility goes right to the heart of brand strategy and recognises Sainsbury’s the crucial role of business in making a difference in society. The ‘win-win’ is mutual Active Kids and multiple. Consumers are driving this and increasingly making ethical considerations in buying decisions. And they do so with conviction and enthusiasm – worthwhile doesn’t have Cilla Snowball to be worthy. Chairman, AMV.BBDO Active Kids for Sainsbury’s shows what can We are a society obsessed by the food we happen when an organisation gives its eat and the health consequences of the thousands of colleagues and millions of wrong decisions. Many brands have been customers the tools to make the difference. caught in the storm around unhealthy It is fun, worthwhile and it works at an food and its particular consequences for individual and brand level, in schools and in our children. the business. Media coverage is overwhelmingly about The Diageo Responsible Drinking initiative, unhealthy food, but research showed that whilst different in tone and message also people were consuming fewer calories recognises a commitment and ambition to than in the past – the issue was they were address a major societal issue with compelling exercising much less. Sainsbury’s believed and relevant communication. that to compete in the future, retailers would have to get serious about health We’re working on more and more CR by focusing both on food and activity. campaigns with our clients and CR is definitely moving from corporate affairs A great cause-related idea would have silo to mainstream consumer and two elements: marketing priority. 1 a scheme with genuine benefits to the cause; and 2 the involvement of Sainsbury’s shoppers to enable Sainsbury’s both to fund and profit from the scheme (a genuine win-win). We created a scheme dedicated to the cause of kids activity (not just sport), administered through schools – Sainsbury’s Active Kids. The more you spent in-store, the more vouchers you got. Customers decided which schools receive vouchers and hence which benefit most. Schools decided what to spend the vouchers on, ‘buying’ goods from a catalogue administered by a third party supplier. continued >
  6. 6. Directions Monthly May 2007 Issue 12 Sainsbury’s Active Kids Success for the business continued The scheme has generated an increase in fruit and veg sales, up 10% during the Each Sainsbury’s store had an Active Kids weeks of the campaign in response to ‘champion’ – a colleague responsible for the double points offer on these items. co-ordinating store activities, and This was a unique part of the Sainsbury’s reaching out into the community served scheme and reflected a balanced by the store and working with local commitment to healthy food and activity schools. Active Kids was communicated to in tandem. The more Sainsbury’s Sainsbury’s customers in advertising and customers have spent, the more vouchers communication featuring Kelly Holmes. they have been able to donate to local Active Kids was at the centre of the schools, building strong links between the Sainsbury’s brand during the campaign store and the community. period, advertised on TV and promoted in-store. In 2007, the scheme will develop further, with the Active Kids catalogue available to Success for the cause Scout and Guide groups and now including 80% of UK schools are registered and cooking equipment to help promote the 27,000 schools have placed 31,000 orders education of healthy eating. for equipment from the Active Kids catalogue. The long-term implications of Sainsbury’s involvement could be dramatic. Active Kids Active Kids has increased activity rates in could be seen in the future as a turning schools, not only in primary schools, but point in the health of Britain’s kids as the also in the much tougher secondary school creativity and scale of Sainsbury’s were environment. Teachers have reported applied to the problem to the mutual improvements in both these areas. 56% benefit of brand, business and cause. of primary school teachers and 34% of secondary school teachers report that kids have become more positive about physical activity. 64% of primary school teachers and 39% of secondary school teachers 64% of primary school report that kids have become more interested in healthy eating as a result of teachers and 39% of the scheme. secondary school The simplest effect of the scheme has teachers report that been to make physical activity more enjoyable for kids – 71% of primary school kids have become more teachers report that this has been the case interested in healthy (it’s a tougher task in secondary schools, but 46% of teachers there report eating as a result of improvements). the scheme.
  7. 7. Directions Monthly May 2007 Issue 12 Case study 2 The work ran as a pilot test in London, Manchester and Nottingham last year for Diageo two months and is planned to run throughout the UK from 1 May 2007 on Responsible Drinking terrestrial and satellite channels. The ambition: Treated responsibly, alcohol Work that works is associated with enjoyment and Evaluation of the 2006 pilot revealed that celebration, but it is common knowledge communicating responsible drinking that excessive or inappropriate messages through advertising can be an consumption can cause health and social effective way of raising awareness and problems for individuals and society. As changing individuals’ attitudes to alcohol the world’s leading premium drinks consumption. business, Diageo wants to be at the forefront of industry efforts to promote The evaluation found that after watching responsible drinking. Their approach is the two executions: based on the following key principles: • 57% of people said they would • set world-class standards for responsible reconsider how they drink as a result marketing and innovation of the campaign • combat alcohol misuse, working with • 75% said the campaign made them others on initiatives to reduce alcohol- question their drinking habits related harm • 93% thought it was important to • seek to promote a shared understanding consume alcohol beverages within of what it means to drink responsibly. sensible limits. AMV.BBDO work with Diageo to deliver The adverts have been recognised across integrated pan-European communication the industry for their role in promoting campaigns to fulfil the last of these responsible drinking, with ‘Mirror’ being principles. awarded the 2006 Drinks Business Award for Responsible Drinking Message. The idea ‘Mirror’ shows a young woman observing The evaluation also demonstrated that The evaluation also herself at a house party. At first she is consumers are eager for the drinks having fun, but then she becomes industry to play a role in promoting demonstrated that ashamed by her behaviour, this is responsible drinking – in fact 92% of consumers are eager completed with the strapline ‘Make sure you like what you see’. A male execution people surveyed thought it was good to see an alcohol beverage company for the drinks industry ‘Many Me’ was also developed by the Irish advertising responsible drinking messages. agency Language. The two adverts were to play a role in designed to reflect alcohol consumption promoting responsible both in the on and off trade. drinking.
  8. 8. ABOUT US SALTERBAXTER ADVISE COMPANIES ON STRATEGY, BRANDING, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND DESIGN. Our clients are extremely varied and include FTSE 100 companies; some of the world’s most exclusive brands; independent, entrepreneurial businesses; world leading educational establishments; law firms; private equity firms and media companies. We name companies, re-invent companies, and re-position companies. We help companies communicate with shareholders and advise them on how to address corporate responsibility. We launch, brand and re-brand. A key area of our expertise is corporate reporting and we advise leading UK and European organisations on strategy and design for their financial and CR communications programmes. We currently work with 12 of the UK FTSE 100. Our offer to clients is a balance of genuine expertise in reporting and CR issues with a commitment to producing outstanding creative design. This has been recognised with our work receiving numerous awards including the ACCA award for innovation in sustainability reporting for our work with O2. Contact: Nigel Salter Lucie Harrild Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 5720 Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 5720 Directions Monthly supplements our main Directions report. This report is published each year and is now regarded as the UK’s most comprehensive analysis of the trends and issues in CR communications. If you want a copy of the full Directions Annual Survey and Report, call us on the number below or email This supplement is printed on Think Bright and is supplied by Howard Smith. It is an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) 202 Kensington Church Street certified material and is 100% recyclable. London W8 4DP Tel +44 (0)20 7229 5720 Printed by CTD, an ISO 14001 certified and FSC accredited Fax +44 (0)20 7229 5721 company. TT-COC-2142 ©1996 Forest Stewardship Council A.C