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Why Sustainability should be about things, not words

This is what purpose driven marketing gets wrong.

Now first things first, purpose driven marketing doesn't mean anything at all in the modern age, sometimes it means "marking with a sense of strategy" but increasingly it means " showing how we help do good in the world"

This means that packet of chips/crisps now come in packaging that doesn't make the product look nice, but is a manifesto Isabel how eating these Peruvian potatoes will make the world better for all.

it means ads are now cloaked in the words of sustainability, every brand is now a movement to make people happier, every website must have a "story". At some point I will address the disingenuousness of it all and greenwashing but not now.

At some point I'll address the fact that advertising is a profession in which we should accept the sins we commit. We may say our role is to drive behavior change, but realistically most of the time we are getting to people to buy things they don't need, often by making people feel like the are not enough. Sometimes we create happiness for free, via the placebo effect of branding, sometimes we raise money for charities, sometimes we simply shift what people were going to buy, but sometimes we are making people feel ugly, or fat, or pathetic and use this to generate demand.

We essentially an industry that creates consumption and consumers. Let's be real.

Now in the last year I have bought an incredible number of household items. I've bought from Amazon cheap or moderately priced kettles, toasters, vacuums, milk frothers, leaf blowers, Drills, Jigsaws, pressure washers ( a lot more fun than expected) coffee makers, LED lights and every single item has been utter junk. Everything has broken within a year.

We may think Fast Fashion or companies like Shein are bad for the planet, but buying $120 vacuums, you send back to Amazon twice, to just give up and throw away after 9 months is incredibly damaging to the planet/

What if the the future of " Green purpose driven marketing" , shifted to not being about comfortable copy, or clever promotions or press stunts, or any form of marketing apart from the product. Maybe the genius behind Patagonia is just that their stuff lasts forever.

How can we bring about a mindshift where people happily pay 5 times more for products that last 20 times longer? How can we get behind the movement to the right to repair? How can we stop chasing the idea that golf clubs from 2020 are meaningfully worse than those you can buy now, does technology really change that fast? How can electronics makers and clothing companies and car makers stop chasing annual release cycles? Often with parity products?

Just some idle thoughts.

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