cringe at these purpose commercials

This made us smile at first, but cringe only a moment later

Paul

by Paul van Schie

So, kicking off with the title of this article; this video made us smile at first, but cringe only a moment later (read on to learn more about how we feel about this):

To us, this video feels equally funny and sad. It clearly shows the superficiality of emotional cues, the thinness of storylines, and the emptiness of brand promises that we sometimes need to put up with. By the way if you want to have a laugh, the comment section of this video is worthwhile taking a peek at. 

However, the content of the commercials doesn’t really differ from the messages we’re used to. So how come we’re more critical now than usual?

Part of the answer, is that when we’re confronted with a crisis and how short our lives are, we’re lifted into this new perspective on what is important, what actually matters.

This not only makes sense, but has been scientifically proven over and over.

When we’re in a state where we think about our values, about what makes us tick and what’s important to us in the long run, we make healthier choices. This is why triggering people on the levels of status, power, ego and other hedonic needs makes less of an impact during the crisis.

The global crisis mode changes how we perceive value. At least temporarily.

Read on for news on the topic of value perception during the crisis, and shows why companies need to dig a little deeper to stand out.

Especially now ;).

 

‘If you read this I have passed away’

One example of how our decisions change when faced with a crisis, is the super successful 2011 campaign of a Dutch NGO that is committed to helping ALS patients.

The NGO published several pitch-dark poster ads. These straightforward ads show a person’s face and the sentence ‘If you see this I have passed away’. The posters confront consumers with their fear of death and combine it with a call to action to donate. It worked, supposedly leading to a ninefold increase in donations.

The ads, and some info about the campaign (in Dutch!)

 

Coronawashing: for big, bad businesses, it’s the new greenwashing

A fairly aggressive article in The Guardian questions the charitable moves of many corporations. We’re not 100% sure if writer Oscar Rickett was the first to add ’coronawashing’ to the list of sportswashing, greenwashing, wokewashing, and all the other ’washings’, but it was the first time we’ve read about the term.

“We have become used to sportswashing, greenwashing, pinkwashing and even wokewashing. We are now in the first wave of coronawashing, in which corporations trip over themselves to clap for key workers, before packaging the footage up into moving nuggets of shareable content and promoting them on several social media platforms. In the background, these same companies are asking for government bailouts and taking advantage of a crisis to push for favourable legislation and the slashing of regulations that are more necessary than ever.”

Click to read the full Guardian article

Unilever Marks Sustainable Living Plan’s 10th Year; New ‘Compass’ to Guide Further Progress

Unilevers Sustainable Living Plan is famous. And after ten years, it’s coming to an end. This week the company presented its new sustainable strategy, named the Unilever Compass, which will guide it toward its goal to be the leader in sustainable business globally.

Over the years, Unilever has truly dug deep, from being the first to stop using pvc, to using less packaging, to making their food more nutritious and healthy, to improving the sustainability of their production chain and building huge global support plans. 

The video below is a summary of the achievements of the program we found in this article on sustainablebrands.com. We really like how it not only summarises successes, but flaws and new goals to achieve as well!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rSe17gsxJo