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#CannesLions2017: Striving for real brand purpose

A subject very close to my heart is that of purpose-driven brands. One just has to look at companies like Unilever to know that ‘purpose leads to purchase'. However, finding a real brand purpose is not easy...

Yesterday, 20 June, Diageo’s chief marketing and innovation officer, Syl Saller and global head of beer and Baileys, Mark Sandys spoke about the hits and misses they’ve experienced in striving for brand purpose. I’ll look at one of those hits.

Diageo believes that the millions brands spend on marketing should give marketers a voice to drive this purpose. “We as marketers can change stereotypes and make a difference to people’s lives,” says Saller. But in order to do this, the brand needs to unleash its creativity based on six core principles:

Mark Sandys, gobal head of beer and Baileys and Syl Saller, chief marketing and innovation officer at Diageo.
Mark Sandys, gobal head of beer and Baileys and Syl Saller, chief marketing and innovation officer at Diageo.

1. Clarity

What difference can your brand make in the world, that goes beyond function?

2. Credibility

What brand/product truth is your purpose rooted in? Why do you have a right to play in the space?

3. Courage

Do you have the courage to try and to fail?

4. Collaboration

Who is the right partner for the content you’re making or cause you’re driving?

5. Consistency

Are you willing to stick with a purpose so that it is truly what the brand stands for?

6. Commitment

Are you willing to invest in establishing what your brand stands for?

Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas

One of the most compelling examples that they showed highlighted the ‘credibility’ principle. The work from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is a Guinness’ ad that won a Glass Lion at Cannes last year. This award-winning ad challenged stereotypes by featuring Gareth Thomas, a retired Welsh rugby player who came out as gay. The reason for the credibility was that this ad was set in the brands’ heartland of rugby. Not only did this break stereotypes, it also grew brand share and sales, proving that brands can do good and make money.

The Festival of Creativity runs from 17-24 June 2017, with Cinemark the local representatives of Cannes Lions for SA. Visit our Cannes Lions special section for the latest updates!

About Ann Nurock

Ann is a Partner at Relationship Audits and Management, a global consultancy that measures and optimizes client /agency relationships. Her proprietary Radar tool is used by 30 corporates globally and as a result she interacts with over 80 agencies of all disciplines. Ann spent 25 years plus in the advertising industry as CEO of Grey Advertising South Africa, and head of the Africa region followed by President and CEO of Grey Canada. Contact details: moc.stiduapihsnoitaler@kcorun.nna | Twitter @Annnurock

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