The purpose of a ‘Purpose-Driven Marketing’​

Earlier in January 2019, Gillette released their new DVC – The best men can be. This marks their transition (or at least start of it) from ‘the best a man can get’ to ‘the best the men can be’ i.e. from masculinity to standing up for social issues – product marketing to purpose-driven marketing.

There has been a significant uproar about this DVC where many marketers and few publications have criticized the brand for being ‘opportunist’ and milking the #MeToo movement for getting traction. Few have also voiced that Gillette’s take is a sweeping generalization of their own core TG – men and hence not the ideal marketing message either.

On the other hand, significant others (which probably forms the majority) have appreciated the brand for standing up for social issue despite this being a complete shift from the communication that was pursued for years.

While there always be people taking sides, for or against, such campaigns, today many of us are also eager to term them success or failure basis the creative or the views this DVC is generating (or failing to generate) or the sentiments of online conversations it’s triggering.

I personally believe that, the success of such take/campaign/initiative should not be measured in terms – how good the particular asset has turned out or how many views it has garnered in short duration, but is in the long term i.e. if the brand supports this with other relevant messages and more importantly with tangible actions.

It’s a good sign that brands are now standing up for causes and are bold enough to use the conflicts as a central theme in communication. However, the intent must not be a short term gain especially in digital media but they must back this up with sustained efforts. They could be creating a platform, facilitating conversation/actions or direct financial aid.

Consumers and digital audience, in general, are smart enough to see through the hollowness claims thanks to the incredible exposure and access to information. And hence, when it comes to purpose-driven marketing, the actions are as important as the intent (message) itself. And if not, will that amount to really anything?

What do you think?