ESG Advertising In 2022

Consumers are now analysing different features of ESG because they now more than ever understand sustainability and responsible investments

Brands are no longer looking to just sell the commodity or a particular service. People are now looking forward to a motive. A plan that can help the world become a better place to reside. Brands are changing their own path and are now focusing on ESG.

Before we predict the future, let us simply understand what ESG is and how it is so important for a company to fit its parameters.

ESG simply means Environmental, Social and Governance. These three words are stitched together in a form that different companies and brands are using as a strategy to promote their product to their consumers, investors and stakeholders. ESG marketing plays an important role in today’s market. It talks about a vision of the brand about how they can change the world by doing their bit. The buyers are loyal to a brand that is ticking the boxes of ESG.

Consumers are now analysing different features of ESG because they now more than ever understand sustainability and responsible investments.

Environmental parameters include the brand’s natural resource conservation, carbon footprint issues, and climate change to name a few.

The loyalty is questionable if these are not strategically and statistically balanced. The millennials, especially post-pandemic, are conscious and don't want to associate themselves with a brand that isn’t doing its bit for the environment.

One of the finest examples of this is the “Nothing is impossible” campaign launched by Adidas India.

The campaign clearly detects environmental issues and promotes sustainability using Rohit Sharma’s shoes as a canvas and showcases a possibility in a unique style. The spikes were customised with the following messages: ‘Save The Rhinos, Save The Corals and Plastic Free Oceans’ that he wore at an International Sporting event.

Two years back, Starbucks announced their goals toward a positive future by strategising to cut its water, and carbon footprints by half. They have always advocated for a sustainable planet through various activities since their inception.

We further go deep into the Social parameters where a brand is analysed in terms of diversity, the well-being of the employees, animal welfare and human rights.

How a brand is breaking the conventional standards and sending out firm messages to the world is what the consumers are seeking.

Dove’s #StopTheBeautyTest campaign broke the barrier regarding the beauty stigma that every woman goes through in their life.

Everyone is unique and special but our society has a preconceived notion on how a woman should look. And Dove decided to uproot it for once and all with a beautiful film.

Another example that goes without saying is 2021’s Not Just a Cadbury Ad campaign launched at the time of Diwali where they have promoted local ventures to further build their resilience, post-pandemic. With the help of AI Tech, numerous small store owners created their very own personalised ads which in return boosted their sales.

And that is exactly how ESG is used as a marketing tool in advertising to convey messages through relatable stories/ initiatives while pulling the audiences closer to the brand, thus making a loyal base for the brand.

In terms of Governance, more than the audience, this section is more prioritised by the investors coming on board and stakeholders as well. Investors and Stockholders want to be a part of a company that eradicates the communication gap and promotes transparency of various information.

Any brand that follows the parameters of ESG gains an intangible asset that is goodwill.

However, in advertising, brands are focused on engaging the audience with visuals that are hard-hitting and stories that unlock a particular emotion in the audience.

ESG in the coming years will become one of the main pillars of an organisation.

*The author is Avishek Saha, Co-founder, COO at Graphixstory

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