The Hero Trap, a new book by Mr. Goodvertising

New book challenges purpose and warns brands to avoid the hero trap


Internationally recognised purpose pioneer Thomas Kolster, also known as Mr. Goodvertising, takes a hatchet to his earlier beliefs and warns brands about purpose: “Try to fly like a superman, and you will come down like a tin of soup.” Thomas calls it a “Hero Trap”.
Most brands today are firmly on the social and environmental issues bandwagon like bees around a honey pot from oceans plastic to diversity. People are increasingly distrustful towards these efforts viewed as cheap marketing stunts meant to wow people into buying more. Drawing on top-line marketing case
studies and in-depth interviews with the likes of P&G’s CMO Marc Pritchard, Kolster demonstrates how people are truly motivated to act when they’re in charge of their own life and happiness. One commissioned study comparing well-known commercials shows that by taking a people-first approach, people are 29.5% more motivated to act on the messaging than the traditional purpose approach. ‘Who can you help me become?’ is the one essential question you need to be asking and acting on to chart a new course for your brand, changing behaviours at scale and unlocking sustainable growth that benefits all. Thomas heralds the beginning of a new post-purpose era, where brands will be seen as villains if they don’t put people’s dreams, aspirations and creativity first.

The Hero Trap (Routledge, June 25th 2020)
Cover by Edel Rodriguez
The book features interviews with leaders like Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble // Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and Executive Chairman, Kind Snacks // Marcello Leone, CEO, RYU // John Schoolcraft, Global Chief Creative Officer, Oatly // Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainable & Healthy Living, IKEA // David Hall, Senior Brand Director, LEGO // And many more 

Thomas Kolster is a marketing activist on a mission to make business put people and planet first. As a seasoned branding and sustainability professional of more than 18 years’ standing, he’s advised everything from Fortune 500 to small start-ups. He’s a globally experienced keynote speaker, author of the book Goodvertising (Thames & Hudson, 2012) and a columnist for The Guardian, Adweek and several other publications. Thomas’s belief is simple: change begins with you! 

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