63% of consumers believe that businesses have a responsibility to act on climate change. One way is to create communication campaigns capable of pushing towards green behaviors. No to guilt and yes to transparency and authenticity: here’s how to talk about sustainability in advertising according to Kantar
The survival of the Planet and its healthy development in the years to come will depend on how good we are at embracing sustainability in everyday life. The objectives defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are bold, and changing one’s habits is undoubtedly challenging.
Still, necessary, as the numbers say and personal empirical experience says so. The good news is that just under one in three (29%) of global consumers are already actively engaged with climate and social issues when it comes to their purchasing behavior. This was revealed by the Sustainability Sector Index by Kantar, a world leader in consumer insights for marketing and communication.
The research, carried out on 35 markets, aims to map consumers’ sustainability attitudes and behaviors with respect to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and highlights how younger consumers (aged between 18 and 34) are more sensitive towards sustainability issues by actively making lifestyle changes in response to climate issues, such as avoiding products that use excessive amounts of water in their production, purchasing second-hand goods or becoming vegan/vegetarian. On the other hand, older consumers (aged 55 and over) show more difficulty in changing their existing lifestyle.
Green Marketing Helps Companies To Be Sustainable
The study also reveals that 63% of consumers believe that businesses have a responsibility to act on climate change. A tool available to companies to actively contribute to achieving sustainability objectives is green marketing, which, as the term itself suggests, pushes to decline the marketing levers from a “green” perspective: packaging obtained from waste, products with a high percentage of recyclability, inspirational communication, are some of the results generated by green marketing experts.
Green Advertising, Password: Positivity
Focusing on green advertising, Kantar, in partnership with Affectiva, a pioneer of Emotion AI, has carried out an analysis of the best and worst commercials that communicate social or environmental issues with the aim of identifying best practices helpful to marketers to be able to deal with the topic of sustainability in communication effectively.
From this analysis, Kantar draws out five rules: capturing the right emotion, hope triumphs over guilt and fear; leaving a positive feeling, even with profound messages; being authentic, faithful to your brand and not expecting too much; making a difference by tangibly showing how you can help; act without just talking and keeping promises.
Advice For Brands
Below, we will see the first three tips in detail, complete with examples for effective green advertising. Capturing the right emotion: hope triumphs over guilt and fear. The study reveals that ads containing social messages generally evoke strong positive emotions in viewers ranging from pride (+26) and inspiration (+21) to affection (+19), but also negative feelings such as guilt (+18) and sadness (+ 17).
According to the researchers, what must be avoided is generating negative emotions since they highlight the best pro-sustainability advertisements that often have a more encouraging tone than all the others and elicit more positive reactions such as smiles and joy. Marketers responsible for green advertising should, therefore, prefer a hopeful style to avoid consumers feeling reproached or rejecting the message altogether, as achieved in the advert for Seventh Generation, an English toilet paper brand, “Trees and Bs.”
Leave A Positive Feeling, Even With Profound Messages
According to the study, evoking strong negative emotions is almost impossible when advertising deals with a topic in a “serious” way; the risk of this is to generate a sense of guilt by recording poor performance in communication. Conversely, leaving spectators with positive emotions such as trust, enthusiasm, inspiration, and pride, despite the problematic topic covered, ensures better results. An example in this direction is how Lurpak addresses the problem of food waste in the advert designed for the television channel “Where there are cooks. “
Be Authentic And Loyal To The Brand, And Don’t Expect Too Much
Inspiring sustainable behavior without reporting ecological and commercial claims but transmitting a sustainable message without communicating it explicitly is the right way to create effective green advertising. Kantar says, as an example, the Co-op “First Day Out” advert, which highlights how shoppers can recycle soft plastic in-store, focusing on the small pleasures of nature during the journey to the store. The commercial stimulates our psychological need for a clear plan on how to implement good intentions, avoiding inducing feelings of guilt or excessively claiming one’s green characteristics.
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