ITV has offered some insight into the value of purpose-driven marketing, with its latest Social Purpose Impact report showing that 7.4 million people took action on their own mental and physical health last year as a direct consequence of the broadcaster's messaging.
The report comes as brands continue to spend big on purposeful and sustainable messaging in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Research from IBM recently found that 40% of consumers now only seek products and services that are aligned with their values, with a further 57% willing to change their consumption habits to reduce environmental impact.
Now, the British broadcaster is offering a glimpse into the merit of such investments, outlining how campaigns it has run across health and wellbeing, diversity, inclusion and climate action have performed over the past year.
‘We make a difference’
ITV has been positioning itself as a force for social good in the world as part of its 'More than TV' strategy, having identified these four key areas above as key to its audience.
The broadcaster has outlined a commitment to getting 10 million people to take control of their mental or physical health by 2023 through eating better, moving more and talking.
It's also has also set its sights on diversity and inclusion with a series of goals to boost representation on and off-screen, irrespective of anyone's disability, race or creed, by 2022.
ITV has also established itself as being on the forefront of climate action, pledging to minimise its carbon footprint by achieving net-zero carbon emissions and zero waste from productions by 2030.
In addition to serving as a role model for others to look up to ITV has also pledged to give time, support and cash to communities around the world, including a goal of increasing volunteering to 10% of all staff raising a minimum of £8m for Unicef's Soccer Aid.
Backing up these varied initiatives have been a regular drumbeat of purpose-driven content such as 'Britain Get Talking', which recently won big in of the Social Purpose category at The Drum Marketing Awards.
The commercial broadcaster has also been busy keeping the 'Stay at Home' messaging front and centre throughout the pandemic by custom bookend idents around ad breaks on ITV1.
Elsewhere the network recently celebrated Black History Month in the UK with a takeover of channel idents and trailers. This complemented newly-commissioned programmes drawing specifically from Black individuals, life and culture.
Marking the predicted impact of climate change ITV also produced an apocalyptic disaster advert titled 'The Shows We Never Want to Make' to reinforce its commitment to becoming a net-zero carbon business by 2030.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "Audiences today expect brands to have not just a point of view but to take action on issues they care about – so social purpose campaigns help ensure ITV is perceived as a modern, relevant brand. ITV is a creative force that does more than entertain; we make a difference to British culture in a way that global competitors don’t.”
Now, ITV is showcasing the impact of these pledges over the last 12 months.
It calculates that 7.4 million people have now altered their behaviour after viewing its health campaigns, including 890,000 children said to have begun eating more vegetables as a result of its ongoing 'Eat Them to Defeat Them' push.
The broadcaster also believes 6.4 million people connected with others as a consequence of the 'Britain Get Talking' campaign while the Shows We Never Want to Make campaign is believed to have convinced 1.3m viewers to reduce their carbon footprint.
In addition to this, 5.7 million UK adults were reached by its 'Stay At Home' messaging, with 24% motivated to stay indoors after viewing the flagship creative at the heart of the push.
- As for 'The Shows We Don't Never to Make' ad, 1.3 million people said the work made them reconsider their carbon footprint
Why it matters
- The results from ITV come as brands continue to double down on their purposeful messaging to showcase their value to customers in the pandemic.
- 2020 data from Deloitte underscored brand purpose as one of the key areas of focus for chief marketing officers post-pandemic, with one in five consumers noting they would support a brand that took impactful action on issues. One in four, meanwhile, said they'd walk away if they didn't agree with brand viewpoints or decisions.
- Looking ahead ITV has promised to build further momentum in each of its four target areas including a new mental health partnership between ITV2 and Calm, promotion of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow and rollout of a global environmental data platform.
Furthermore, the broadcaster will appoint a culture advisory council to guide approaches to diversity and inclusion with the broadcaster also chairing the Creative Diversity Network. A mentorship programme will also see ITV partner with the Media Trust and Creative Access to give emerging talent a leg up in the creative industries.
McCall concludes: "Being a purpose-driven business is more important than ever before. Business can and should play its part in driving positive change, and if anything I think 2020 increased the public’s expectation of that.