Marketing and Comms

How brands are evolving in the area of sustainability marketing and communications — and how their stakeholders are asserting their own needs and preferences.

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Forget Video Snacking: Longer Brand Stories Are Hitting Home

How can a brand or a company cut through the noise of our modern media landscape and truly connect with a short-attention span public about the social and environmental issues it really cares about? Documentary film might not seem the obvious solution, given that the medium demands an audience’s full attention for a good chunk of time. Increasingly though, marketers are turning to documentary storytelling to cut through all that social media noise and tap into a growing consumer demand for content that isn’t simply a throwaway video snack.

How Framing Sustainability as Strength Can Help Win Male Audiences

Are traditional gender norms of “manliness” slowing the advancement of the sustainable economy? Turns out, they might, according to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research. But while prior research attributes this gender gap in sustainable consumption to personality differences between the sexes, the new study proposes that it may also stem partially from a prevalent association between "green" behavior and femininity, and a corresponding stereotype — held by both men and women — that sustainable consumers are more feminine.

AT&T Reminds Drivers They’re Never Alone on the Road in Latest Ad

When your smartphone receives a message or a call while you’re driving, do you answer it? For most (64 percent of) Americans, the answer is yes – but only if they’re driving alone. Interestingly, only 36 percent look at their phone screens with passengers in the car and just 30 percent do so if there is a child in the car. But as AT&T’s latest ad demonstrates, even if you’re alone in your car, you’re never alone on the road.

Study: Many Consumers Willing to Pay More for, Switch to Completely Transparent Brands

A new study reveals that consumers’ demand for product transparency is on the rise – overall, they desire more product information and are inclined to be more loyal to brands that provide more detailed insights. About 40 percent say they would switch to a new brand if it offered full product transparency, and 81 percent say they would consider a brand’s entire portfolio of products if they switched to that brand as a result of increased transparency.

UNDP About to School China on Significance of SDGs

With about one-fifth of the world’s population, China has the ability to significantly contribute to the success of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The country made impressive strides in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in poverty alleviation, and is well-positioned to build on that progress in the post-2015 development agenda despite the challenges it will undoubtedly face.

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Celebrities, Consumers Share Selfies to Donate Fresh Produce to Communities in Need

The number of Americans with limited access to fruits and vegetables has climbed to nearly 30 million. In other words, the ‘food desert’ crisis affects roughly one in every ten people in the United States.

UK's Largest Food Producers Giving Brits an Inside Look at How Their Favorite Foods Are Made

Growing consumer demand for healthy, responsibly produced food is leading more and more big food companies to embrace transparency, simplify their product formulas and highlight the integrity of their foods: Examples include Campbell’s and Chipotle, which both launched ‘what’s in my food’ campaigns in the past year; Panera,

Health Charities Campaigning to Ban All Food, Drink Advertising to Kids in Canada

Canadian health charities are teaming up to battle the problem of childhood obesity in a way that the food and beverage industry is not going to like. More than ten organizations have joined the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, including some of Canada’s largest and most influential health charities, to campaign against advertising junk food to children. And to avoid the risk of unhealthy products pretending to be healthy – they’re pushing for a complete ban on all food and beverage advertising aimed at people age 16 and younger.

Would You Swipe Right for a Monkey? The Body Shop Trials ‘Gorilla’ Marketing on Tinder

This month, Canadians may have noticed that The Body Shop has been monkeying around on the dating app Tinder. The brand has created a profile for Reggie, a Red Shanked Douc monkey from Vietnam, as part of a new ‘gorilla’ marketing initiative to promote its new Bio-Bridges program. Since it was announced in May, the program has been promoted through the ‘Help Reggie Find Love’ campaign, online and in-stores. The playful campaign is intended to raise awareness around the challenges that monkeys and other endangered species face in living safely and finding a mate.

Bill to Create Federal GMO Labeling Standard Sails Through House

After passing the Senate last week, a bill proposing a federal labeling standard for foods with genetically modified ingredients - and blocking states from creating their own standards - sailed through the US House of Representatives on Thursday, and is now on its way to President Obama. The bill, which passed by a landslide 306 to 117 vote, directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a national labeling standard that allows food producers to choose how they want to disclose the presence of genetically modified ingredients - manufacturers will be able to use text, symbols or a QR code that consumers must scan with a smartphone to relay the information.

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Beer Giants Increasing Transparency Around Ingredients, Nutrition Information

This week, the Beer Institute announced a new initiative to encourage its member companies to display specific consumer information on products, packaging or websites.

Chipotle Hopes to Reassure Customers with ‘A Love Story’

Will the power of love help Chipotle recover from its food safety woes, defecting customers and still-struggling stock price? The fast casual restaurant chain has once again produced an original animated short film in an attempt to advocate for fresh, unprocessed ingredients and ‘cultivating a better world.’

110 Nobel Laureates Call Out Greenpeace Over Anti-GMO Stance

As the controversy over genetically modified foods continues to rage amongst consumers and researchers, Greenpeace recently came under fire from 110 Nobel Laureates calling them out for their consistent anti-GMO stance, in particular, against “Golden Rice” — a rice product genetically engineered to biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in the edible parts of rice.

Mr Potato Head Helps Hasbro, Asda Raise Awareness of Wonky Veg, Food Waste

Mr. Potato Head was first manufactured back in 1952 as a bundle of plastic parts and pushpins, the idea being that you would stick them into a real potato that would serve as the toy’s head. The first toy ever advertised on television, Mr. Potato Head would rely on root vegetables from family kitchens until 1964, when rotting vegetables were replaced with everlasting plastic shells. Despite the strange practice of storing spare face parts in his butt, Mr. Potato Head has remained a childhood favorite, now marketed under the Playskool brand owned by toy giant Hasbro.

New Doc Shows Struggles of Asian Garment Workers, Demands ‘Living Wage Now’

Struggling to cover basic expenses such as food, housing and education, the roughly 40 million garment workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and other parts of Asia regularly risk physical violence, sexual harassment, starvation, and even death for the sake of cheap clothing.

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Top 4 Ways Virtual Reality Can Deliver ROI for your Purpose-Driven Brand

The first time I watched virtual reality, I knew that it was going to become an incredibly powerful medium for doing good. At Matter Unlimited, we're in the business of doing good by amplifying the power of brands and organizations to drive positive change in the world. Immediately I recognized the opportunity for us to tell stories in VR that bring people closer to understanding a wide array of social issues.

#EarthToParis: Designing Global Calls to Action and Engaging Multiple Stakeholders at Scale

“We’re going to change the world - all of us together. I know we will.” – Max Schorr GOOD is a social impact company that creates stories, experiences, and tools to push the world forward. During a dynamic workshop Monday afternoon, the GOOD team - including Max Schorr, co-founder and Chief Community Officer; Casey Caplowe, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer; and Gabriel Reilich, Head of Video - provided case studies, tools, and interactive exercises to help workshop attendees answer the question: How do you build something that people want to be a part of? The goals of the workshop were:

How Marketing Teams Can Appreciate, Apply, Amplify Sustainability Priorities

It’s no secret that the audience at any Sustainable Brands conference lives and breathes social impact. From CSR strategists to climate change experts to sustainability technicians, our careers are devoted to integrating business and social purpose to make the world a better place. Ricardo Caceres, Global Marketing Director of Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company, knows he is preaching to the choir. When he says, “We must shift sustainability from a technical to a humanizing conversation to unlock marketing value,” heads around the room nod in agreement. He’s speaking our language – the challenge of connecting the dots between sustainability imperatives, and marketing and business goals.

The Secret Sauce: Why Sustainability Stories Spread, or Don't

Language is a virus: Get it wrong and it can kill your venture. Get it right, and it inspires others and spreads like fire. In sustainability, where we are still working to attract new audiences, this can be the difference between engagement and alienation. So how do we get it right? According to Betsy Henning, CEO & Founder of AHA, an award-winning creative marketing communications firm based in Portland, Oregon, there are seven deadly sins of sustainability communications to avoid:

Successful Sustainability Storytelling First Requires Shaping Your Internal Narrative

Early on in the Embedding Project, one topic came up more than any other: storytelling. While many companies are experimenting with sharing stories about sustainability as a way to shape their cultures, we also heard that their attempts to do this sometimes fell flat. It turns out that leveraging storytelling to help employees arrive at their own learning moments about sustainability takes some planning. Over a two-year period, we worked with companies, reviewed research, and interviewed storytellers in a range of roles. Here’s some of what we learned.

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