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How advertising can become the voice of the people

Public pressure is a powerful thing. It brought votes for women. It spawned the Civil Rights Act. It’s helped end wars, increase wages and drive up standards of living. By coming together to campaign for the things they believe in, people have always had the power to bring about widespread social, political and environmental change.

The state of our planet

And this is no different today. One of the biggest factors currently driving public pressure is the state of our planet. There’s a growing demand for urgent environmental action. A demand that’s been spurred on by TV programmes like Blue Planet, which has brought the environmental debate into living rooms the world over, and embodied by movements such as Extinction Rebellion, which is lobbying government to introduce environmental laws and policies.

This pressure has already led to legislation and governmental action. Including the UN’s 2017 pledge to tackle the global plastic crisis. And the British government’s recent target for net-zero emissions by 2050. This is all positive. But it can only go so far.

Public pressure on brands

We live in a society where the business world has just as much, if not more, power and sway than most governments. This means that businesses are often best placed to drive the change we need at the scale we need it. It’s this thought that underpins the B Corp movement, which champions the importance of purpose, not just profit, in business. As ex-Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, noted, “We are entering a very interesting period of history where the responsible business world is running ahead of the politicians.”

But business being business, profit margins always come into play. A commitment to positive environmental change has to be part of a commercially viable business plan. Here’s where public pressure comes in. In the world of business, public pressure becomes market pressure. And market pressure pushes businesses to act in a certain way in order to remain profitable.

So, the widespread public demand for environmental action turns into market pressure. Which means businesses find themselves urged to meet the environmental demands of their audience. This results in a situation where the businesses with the most visible environmental credentials are the ones gaining market share. Running an environmentally conscious business isn’t just the responsible thing to do. It becomes the profitable thing to do.

You should be able to find several indispensable facts about motivation in the following paragraphs. If there’s at least one fact you didn’t know before, imagine the difference it might make. It’s so difficult to go on when everything seems to fail, isn’t it? Are there times in your life when you really want to call it “quits” because you just can’t see any good results from all the hard work you’ve done?

It’s all about sustainability

But of course, running an environmentally conscious business is easier said than done. Sustainability isn’t about simply changing one part of a business to appease popular demand. An energy company doesn’t suddenly become environmentally friendly because they’ve committed to planting a set number of trees every year.

Sustainability runs deeper than that. It’s woven into everything a business does, from material sourcing and distribution to operational activity, marketing and advertising. And the public is shrewd and savvy enough to know an environmentally conscious business from one that just appears to be.

And here’s our solution

This is why we’ve set up Bagboard. We give businesses an advertising platform that’s truly environmentally conscious. Through which ad budgets make a direct difference to the health of our planet, because we enable brands to align their economic metrics with sustainable ones.

And by doing so, brands give their audience the opportunity to do their bit for the planet too, empowering them to act on the things that matter to them.

The result is an advertising platform that can flip public pressure on its head. Businesses are no longer simply reacting to widespread demand for environmental change. They’re pro-actively leading the charge, empowering their customers to join them in saving the planet.

“This is probably the biggest business opportunity we have seen in the history of mankind.”

Paul Polman (Former CEO – Unilever)

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