Brand responsibility is a significant phrase in today’s society. According to a survey conducted by Independent Community Intelligence Service (ICIS) in 2019, an average of 69% of the participants under 40 were willing to pay more for sustainable products. (Chang & Greenwood, 2019).
Although this number has changed based on age group and location, it nevertheless illustrates an area in which the focus on sustainable products has increased significantly in the last few years. “The trend and changes in attitudes are clear. This is a huge shift. Informally, about 5-10 years ago only around 10% of people would be willing to pay more.” (Chang & Greenwood, 2019).
Consumers’ expectations and demands for brands are increasing, and the focus is no longer just on the transaction of goods and services, but also on what impact brands have on people’s lives. Born into a digital era with an overwhelming amount of sources and misleading information, these generations have had to filter the information they receive daily, manually. (Chong, 2017). This makes responsible advertising a crucial area for brands to focus on.
Despite this being such an important topic, no clear academic definition of what responsible advertising precisely entails seems to exist. It is known that socially responsible organizations only run responsible ads, and that “people will know responsible ads when they see them.” (Hyman, 2009).
However, this ‘guiding’ to make advertising-related decisions seems insufficient in the complex and multicultural business environment that we find ourselves in today. Therefore, the question remains: what are the views of consumers on responsible advertising?
We at MCH are keen to find out, and we have put Emilie Tornøe to the task. Emilie interned with us last year as a marketing assistant and is now concluding her master thesis about consumers’ views on responsible advertising through MCH, acting as our Market Research Lead.
Specifically, the project will account for the current situation of responsible advertising including what the consumer expects, how the generations of Millennials and Gen Z are viewing responsible advertising, what the differences and similarities are and how brands need to tailor their communications towards responsible branding. Furthermore, a definition of responsible advertising will be presented.
The above mentioned will be carried out by examining relevant academic literature and conducting empirical research. The latter will take the form of interviewing a broad sector of people representing different consumer types across two generations.
MCH is hugely excited about the ongoing project and looking forward to sharing the outcomes very soon!
Chang, J. & Greenwood, A. (2019). Consumers willing to pay more for sustainable products -Accent. Independent Community Intelligence Service. Retrieved 27 March 2021 from https://www.icis.com/explore/resources/news/2019/06/04/10374331/consumers-willing-to-pay-more-for-sustainable-products-accenture
Chong, K. (2017). Millennials and the Rising Demand for Corporate Social Responsibility. CMR Berkeley. Retrieved 27 March from https://cmr.berkeley.edu/blog/2017/1/millennials-and-csr/
Hyman, M., R. (2009). Responsible ads: A workable ideal. Article in Journal of Business Ethics.