With the events of the pandemic forcing us to re-assess the things that really matter to all of us – and with COP26 still firmly on our collective minds – people are scrutinising brands and their values like never before.

A growing number of us no longer choose brands simply for their desirability or utility. We are more actively seeking out brands that are desirable and useful but that align to our own values and principles too.

While COVID-19 caused so much damage to societies and economies across the world, it did prompt the advertising industry into introspection and is beginning to force it into changing the marketing narrative, as we transition towards a brighter and more sustainable future.

The rules of growth have changed

Back in the summer, Mindshare launched its ‘Good Growth’ positioning.

Of course, all agencies promise clients growth. Our approach focuses not on short-term tactical growth but on good growth – growth that’s enduring, repeatable, diversified and more sustainable over time, growth that aligns with clients’ business ambitions and with the views and values of the people they want as customers.

At Mindshare, we recently held our 11th annual Huddle. The two-day event focused on two interlocking ideas:

  • how to build enduring, responsible good growth
  • by doing so, create a more sustainable, regenerated world.

We ran over 40 sessions with industry guest speakers from partners such as Channel 4, The Independent and Sky, along with famous faces such as comedian Tom Allen, and broadcasting legend Chris Evans.

We looked at how media and marketing communities can embrace the idea and principles of good growth for themselves, effecting business outcomes while making a positive impact on the world. You can watch these sessions here.

Working together

We all know that media is a powerful force. However, according to new research by Purpose Disruptors, advertising is indirectly responsible for adding 28% onto the annual carbon footprint of every single person in the UK.

Advertising works, and, when we do our jobs well, we drive growth for our clients. Our mission now is to ensure it is working for the good of our societies and for our planet.

As a starting point, we must begin by reducing the carbon footprint of our media plans (we made a free tool for that) and also make sure our production is carbon neutral as well.

While both are hugely important, much bigger impact will come from promoting more sustainable behaviours through our campaigns.

Good growth gives us a platform from which to empower and inspire our clients, and ourselves, to use less, waste less, buy better and protect our environment, driving profitability in a more respectful way to the planet and the people we try and influence.

This is the opportunity good growth represents. Alone, agencies will struggle to make a difference – but together we are a formidable force for real, effective change.