Thomas Kolster

Founder & Creative Director
Goodvertising Agency

Thomas Kolster is a man on a mission — one of the early pioneers in the do-good space, coining the term "Goodvertising" to describe the changing impact-advertising landscape that’s become a movement in itself.

As a seasoned advertising professional counting more than 16 years, he's a vocal voice for advertising and brands as a force for good; his book on the subject, Goodvertising is the most comprehensive book to date exploring communication for good.

Thomas is a globally recognized keynote speaker featured at events including SXSW, TEDx, Eurobest, D&AD, Epica, ad:tech & Sustainable Brands; a columnist for Adweek, The Drum, the Guardian and several other publications; and a regular judge at international award shows. As a passionate entrepreneur and change-agent, he’s launched impact platforms such as Cph:Change and Wheregoodgrows.com. The Huffington Post has dubbed him an “Inspirational Leader”.

Thomas Kolster is tagged in 14 stories.
SB’19 Montevideo: The Road to a Healthy World Is Paved with ‘Transformative Promises’
SB’19 Montevideo: The Road to a Healthy World Is Paved with ‘Transformative Promises’

The Next Economy / In the first gathering of the SB community in Uruguay, change agents from a wide swath of perspectives shared their visions of what’s necessary to course-correct our way to a healthy, flourishing future — and where the power really lies in driving change. - 3 months ago

Screw the Nice Gestures, Advertisers — We Need More Real Impact
Screw the Nice Gestures, Advertisers — We Need More Real Impact

Marketing and Comms / A behind-the-scenes look from a Sustainable Development Goals jury member at last week's Cannes Lions. - 5 months ago

Was I Asleep During This Year’s Super Bowl?
Was I Asleep During This Year’s Super Bowl?

Marketing and Comms / Quick laughs, bad jokes, celebrities — but very few with a message - 10 months ago

SB Nordic: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
SB Nordic: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Walking the Talk / So, what do a slave-free chocolate brand, an activist bank and a blindfolded panel of diversity experts have in common? - 10 months ago

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Corporate America Swings from Sobs to Silence in This Year’s Super Bowl
Corporate America Swings from Sobs to Silence in This Year’s Super Bowl

Marketing and Comms / It was a sad Super Bowl. Sad, as only Trump can say it. Saaad. One minute I had a cunning, fast-talking clown trying to sell me stuff in true ad-land fashion. The next, I felt emotionally mistreated by a sobbing stranger playing curling with my heart. Corporate America appeared not to care at all — and if it did, it cared too much — which is exactly the problem. Of four quarters of fast-paced commercials only around 10 aimed for something bigger than product plugging. - 1 year ago

Cannes Lions: Worst Year Ever Was Best Year Yet for Goodvertising
Cannes Lions: Worst Year Ever Was Best Year Yet for Goodvertising

Marketing and Comms / Leaving Cannes last week, I felt even more schizophrenic than I did during my hard-working years in ad land. On the one hand, it’s been the best year ever in the Festival’s history for advertising that does more than sell snake oil - call it ‘Goodvertising,’ if you will. On the other, it seems like most agencies and marketers are treating the biggest issues of our time as a new trend, as if doing good is simply the ‘new black’ or perhaps pink (judging from the number of women’s equality campaigns on show). - 2 years ago

Sign o' the Times: This Year's Super Bowl Had More Goodvertising Than Ever
Sign o' the Times: This Year's Super Bowl Had More Goodvertising Than Ever

Marketing and Comms / The political unrest seems to be good for advertising with a conscience, as this year’s Super Bowl saw the highest number of Goodvertising campaigns ever. - 2 years ago

How to Prove Skeptical Stakeholders Wrong on the Road to Fulfilling Your Brand Purpose
How to Prove Skeptical Stakeholders Wrong on the Road to Fulfilling Your Brand Purpose

Marketing and Comms / “Purpose is like Pokémon - everybody is chasing it and nobody knows why,” “Mr. Goodvertising,” Thomas Kolster, mused at the start of the Tuesday morning plenary session at SB’16 Copenhagen. Articulating purpose is central to modern branding. And in a world where the majority of market value is drawn from intangible assets, “brand is king,” Kolster said. - 3 years ago

Advertising: A Social Experiment That, for the Most Part, Has Gone Wrong
Advertising: A Social Experiment That, for the Most Part, Has Gone Wrong

Product, Service & Design Innovation / As an industry, we’re ignorant at best or utterly demagogic, one-sided and irresponsible at worst. The majority of do-good efforts from brands are little more than a cheeky pick-up line to charm consumers into buying more. How can we continuously ignore the societal or environmental consequences of our craft? I often hear marketing execs talk about advertising as a mirror of society despite its omnipresent impact. Advertising unquestionably promotes screwed-up beauty ideals, preys on people’s insecurities and egoism, and pushes a material arms race in which people are considered backward if they don’t have the newest gadget. - 3 years ago

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How to (and How Not to) Use Humour, 'Macho-Eco' Identities to Communicate Sustainability
How to (and How Not to) Use Humour, 'Macho-Eco' Identities to Communicate Sustainability

Marketing and Comms / This Tuesday afternoon breakout session saw Thomas Kolster, founder and creative director at the Goodvertising Agency, and Kerry Eustice, Editorial Partnerships Editor at The Guardian Sustainable Business, share their perspectives on changing the conversation around sustainability values.Early on, Kolster asserted that sustainability advertising is not doing enough to drive change, as it tends to be less engaging than other advertising messages. He and Eustice discussed dos, don’ts and new approaches that could change the way the message of sustainability is communicated. - 4 years ago

Was Cannes 'Good' Enough?
Was Cannes 'Good' Enough?

Marketing and Comms / This year, the hearts ran wild in Cannes. And I’m not hinting at the mysterious couple having an amicable rendezvous in the early hours of the morning on the red carpet in front of the Palais, but at the fact that the gathered Mad Men seem to have grown soft and developed a real love for making a difference. Who would have ever expected that from the same people who’ve given us ads like, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!” or “For a better start in life, start cola earlier!”Advertising is the single largest psychological experiment - 4 years ago

Is Your Campaign Human-Proof? How Limiting Human Interference Can Be Key to Success
Is Your Campaign Human-Proof? How Limiting Human Interference Can Be Key to Success

Marketing and Comms / Have you already failed your New Year’s resolution to live a healthier and happier life? We are own biggest enemy and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can begin making real change. Everybody who’s been put in charge of creating change - whether it’s changing a country, business, organization, system, product, service or minds - knows that what most evidently stands in the way of change is not funds or ingenuity, it’s ourselves. We break New Year’s pledges almost as they’re outspoken, forget to switch off the lights, although risk-aware drive without a seatbelt, keep smoking although we know its deadly, repeat history’s atrocities again and again - raising the question if we at all are capable of taking care of ourselves? - 4 years ago

Stop Talking About Sustainability, Start Sharing What Works
Stop Talking About Sustainability, Start Sharing What Works

Collaboration / What makes a company like GSK give away information about thousands of potential malaria-treating drugs? Why did Nike spend 6 million USD developing their Enironmental Design Apparel Tool (minimising the impact of their products in the design process) and subsequent MAKING design app only to give them away for others to use? - 6 years ago

Marketing & Communications
Marketing & Communications

Marketing and Comms / From our perspective, "brand" is who you are, what you do, how you do it, and only then, how you communicate it. This channel examines how today's leading brands are evolving in the area of sustainability marketing and communications through thought-provoking ads, creative mission marketing, social media campaigns and other successful stakeholder engagement. - 6 years ago

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