Purpose Beyond Profit

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Researching for BITE I found this article online - ‘How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes’. I was expecting a multiple choice quiz, this is what I got: 1. Take a blank sheet of paper. 2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?” 3. Write an answer that pops into your head. 4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

Developing your business purpose might be more complicated than this, and probably shouldn’t make you cry, but there is an increasing demand for brands to have ‘purpose beyond profit’. Employees and customers want brands to take responsibility for improving their quality of living. The concept of doing good came out as a common theme at the Cannes Lions, the introduction of a new LionHeart Award elevating this even further.

Brands like TOMS, Ecover and Whole Foods have it written into their DNA, sustainably sourcing their products and taking responsibility for all parts of the production and delivery chain. Larger established companies have adapted their existing business models to be more socially responsible - M&S Schwopp, Coca Cola Deliver for Today Inspire for Tomorrow and Unilever’s Project Sunlight.

Nielsen’s 2014 Global Survey tells us that customers are willing to pay a premium for socially responsible brands and punish those who fake it. As a result brands are increasingly using this message through thought-provoking communications and creative mission marketing.

Paddy Power Create Mischief And Mission

Paddy Power is not a brand you might associate with charitable work, however it’s fair to say they never shy away from a cultural topic, particularly if there’s an opportunity to be controversial.

Going Commando for MCAC (Male Cancer Awareness Campaign) they got men talking about prostate cancer by encouraging them to do one less thing in the morning, put their pants on.

The charity Stonewall wanted to highlight the taboo topic of homophobia in British football. Along with Lucky Generals and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Paddy Power sent Rainbow-coloured laces to every professional player asking them to get Right Behind Gay Footballers (#RBGF).

During the World Cup, Paddy Power leaked a hoax photo online, which showed hundreds of trees chopped down to create a message of support for the England team. This was one of the most talked about campaigns of the tournament and highlighted the issue of logging.

Creating Mischief with Mission, Paddy Power definitely know how to get people talking.


Agency: Lucky Generals

blokes going commando
35 million
Twitter impressions during the World Cup

Innocent Start A Chain Of Good

Innocent is one of the original brands to use their social message throughout their marketing comms. A ‘Chain of Good’ begins when you choose to buy an innocent smoothie. Not only does it taste great, but you do some good too. And as innocent give 10% of their profits to charity, the good just keeps going. This message is translated across all their media channels.


Agency: 101 & Amplify

Oxfam Give Stores A Rethink, Not A Refit

As a charity Oxfam have an inherent social responsibility, here they translate that message into their retail environment. Using largely existing fixtures and fittings to minimize cost, StartJG created a new store design that connects customers, donors and volunteers to the work Oxfam does. Every touchpoint from the labels to the shelving materials tells the brand story, and ties it back to the positive impact people have by shopping, donating or volunteering – driving sales as a result.

Agency: StartJG

Yahoo Gives Us Search in 3D

To portray the future for the internet, Yahoo JAPAN integrated the search function with a 3D printer and developed the Hands On Search machine. The machine enabled visually impaired school children to feel objects far too big or small for them to feel in reality, like the Eiffel Tower or a mosquito.

Agency: Hakuhodo Kettle

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