Advertising and SustainabilityPosted: July 13, 2011
Due to the bias of my upbringing, slipping advertising and sustainability into the same sentence seems like a complete contradiction. Take a step back, however, and it is not so different from the emerging conversations in disciplines like architecture and industrial design. All design disciplines in some way have contributed to the problems we currently face, and all professional practices are looking for ways of remaining relevant in a changing world.
Robin Uchida, a brilliant mind who is part of Torch Partnership was telling me today of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi’s move into the strategic sustainability realm through establishment of a new arm; Saatchi & Saatchi S. Listening to how they position themselves casts the advertising agency in a different light. Pay attention to their language:
Saatchi & Saatchi S is a full service strategy and communications firm focused on “activating companies for good.” We believe that engaged, inspired, and values-driven employees are the foundation of sustainable companies and innovative brands.
Activating companies for good is a brilliant line. It weaves in the tangibles and intangibles, allows room for metrics where required, or dialogue and motivation in other scenarios. I’ve just started scanning their blog and there are some very intriguing discussions in here around similar themes within my own area of interest.
But, the real reason for this post is a broader observation. When there is buy in from an enormous corporate advertiser at this level highlights that there is a shift occurring. Scenarios of sustainability are emerging with complex and deep implications. I personally need to broaden my scope regarding where this change may come from.
But for a bit of fun, I’d like to finish with a wonderful movie highlighting the ridiculous world of advertising/marketing world (more available in the blog post above): Warning – there is some “colourful language”!