Consumers – not adland – fuelling rise of brand purpose

black-lives-matter-5285954_1920Claims that the advertising industry should go back to basics and stop being so “woke” appear well wide of the mark with the majority of consumers now highly influenced by a brand’s purpose which ultimately drives their buying decisions.

That is the clear message from a new study released by Channel Factory, the global brand suitability and ad performance platform for YouTube. The Brand & Consumer Values Report explores consumer sentiment around brand suitability, advertising, and YouTube content, and quizzed 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 65.

The report confirms that consumers place value in brands that are dedicated to social good, with over two-thirds (69%) stating they prefer to buy from brands committed to socially conscious causes.

Additionally, a similar proportion (68%) prefer to buy from brands that are committed to making online environments more positive, while three-fifths (60%) prefer to buy from those committed to making these environments diverse and inclusive.

The report also outlines consumer sentiment toward advertising, with over half (54%) of consumers stating they would have a negative opinion of brands that run their ads on content made by creators whose social values they disagree with.

Consumers are also looking for inclusivity, with three-fifths (60%) stating they feel more positive about a brand knowing they advertised in diverse environments. Additionally, consumers are looking for relevant content, with nearly three-quarters (73%) stating they are more likely to buy from brands whose ads are relevant to the content they are consuming on YouTube.

Channel Factory founder and chief executive Tony Chen said: “For years, we have tip-toed around the need for advertising to be held more accountable – to be ethical, conscious, and conscientious. Undoubtedly, 2020 has accelerated this and consumers have made it clear that they want to be surrounded by content that speaks to them, is relevant and engaging.

“Nowhere is this more true than on YouTube. As consumers look to engage with platforms like YouTube, it’s never been more clear that brands must appeal to them with compelling content.”

Group M director of brand safety and digital risk Stevan Randjelovic added: “What we hear from consumers is that they care what kind of content their favourite brands are funding, what they are supporting and how their investments reflect their values.

“This is why it is important for the industry to continue to pursue strategies that factor in diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental and social sustainability and other areas of responsible investment. We have to work together as an industry to ensure we are funding the responsible creators and that we don’t over block certain words that could defund key news organisations.”

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