Cannes Lions 2022: How ‘purpose’ grew business of Unilever’s Dove, and Lowe’s

The new-age customers look for a brand which stands for a purpose and has an authentic and true to it

The panel also touched upon the decade-old debate on effectiveness and whether award winning creative work by advertisers are only for the sake of their own recognition or do they actually tend to be effective at driving business growth.
The panel also touched upon the decade-old debate on effectiveness and whether award winning creative work by advertisers are only for the sake of their own recognition or do they actually tend to be effective at driving business growth.

While corporate social responsibility has been a forced mandate for many brands, due to the ever increasing pressure from governments to give to the society, in the last few years, the table seemed to have turned. Interestingly, brands too now appear to focus on being purpose-driven. But while ‘purpose’ can drive social change, the question is can it drive business growth? For Alessandro Manfredi, chief marketing officer, Dove, it’s not always easy but it is possible. “We have seen a massive impact of purpose on long-term sales. For me there are three things to make purpose a driver of growth- the purpose needs to be somehow linked to the industry; It needs to be authentic which means you need to be part of a solution; And the third thing is you need to invest in that purpose. Purpose drives brand power much more than heavy commercial,” he said on the second day of the 68th edition of Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. 

Adding to Manfredi’s statement, Marisa Thalberg, executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer, Lowe’s, said that there is a fourth aspect that enables purpose to drive business growth and that is focus. “If there is a focus to your purpose then it tells the story of your brand and what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re genuinely doing good things, then the story of your brand gets narrated itself,” she highlighted.  

Taking a slightly different route, Nadja Bellan-White, global chief marketing officer, VICE Media Group highlighted that business growth and measurement applied to it is not just in terms of return on investment (ROI) but also consumer engagement. “Marketers tend to forget that despite awareness, if their engagement is going down over time, they are not developing a sustainable relationship with their customers and their target audience,” she opined.

The panel also touched upon the decade-old debate on effectiveness and whether award winning creative work by advertisers are only for the sake of their own recognition or do they actually tend to be effective at driving business growth. Thalberg claimed awards should be the outcome of work that has had an impact on a real objective. “We’re in the business where art meets commerce. Hence, effectiveness should look across multiple dimensions. For instance, we should look at how we have effectively moved people- moved them to shop, to act, to behave in new and important ways,” she stated.

For Bellan-White, campaigns that really win have impact, creativity and effectiveness at the core.

Read Also: Cannes Lions 2022: Dentsu Creative bags another Grand Prix while FCB walks away with 11 Lions at the end of day four

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