Companies with a Social Conscience
I’ve notice a trend recently in the commercials playing between my latest show on Hulu. I know they are trying to tailor the types of commercials I see to my preferences; they literally ask me to pick between two images every so often. But answering those questions would not tell them that I am a person that values people and companies that do the right thing, that take care of the environment, support those less fortunate, and overall contribute to a better society. Which is why I was curious whether the trend in socially conscious commercials was just a global trend or if I was specifically seeing them as a marketing tactic.
The past several Super Bowls have turned out a few very moving commercials from big name companies about working together and fixing societies problems. But in the past they seemed to fade away until the next February commercial advertisement event. Lately however, more companies are putting a not so subtle spin on their advertisements that speak to their commitment to more than the bottom line of their profits.
I found a statistic quoting an Aflac survey that said “92% of millennial consumers are more likely to buy products from ethical companies” and eager to fact check this high number I came across a Forbes article titled “Millenials Driving Brands to Practice Socially Responsible Marketing.” The article quoted the Global Corporate Sustainability Report from Nielson in 2015 which said “66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand.” When only considering millenials, that number jumped to 73%. So not quite 92%, but a very high percentage of the age cohort that is about to take over the market.
It is interesting to see the rapid change on this topic by reviewing articles. Back in 2015 articles were titled, “will consumers pay more for products from socially responsible companies” to in late 2017 “younger consumers drive shift to ethical products.” It went from being a question on whether my generation was going to force companies to start being more ethically and socially responsible, to less than 2 years later, it being a fact that companies must address. Just typing in companies with a social conscience into Google brings up a top 20 list of the organizations “demonstrating a diverse range of social responsibility goals and initiatives.” Number one is Ben & Jerry’s, so you can feel better about eating that peanut butter fudge ice cream next time. They even list social as one of their three-part mission statement.
Like most people I despise watching ads and for the longest time found a way around having to do so. All my shows came from Netflix, but now with Hulu I’m back to a minute of ads between segments of my shows. But if I’m going to be watching commercials, I would rather be watching those like the Stella Artois (above) which brings awareness to important issues around the world or that demonstrate a social conscience beyond making profits. If they are committed to more than making the most money, I will be one of the 66% of consumers that purchase their product over their competitor.