Peter Low
Peter Low 14 June 2019
Categories Advertising

How Ethical Campaigns Can Lead to a ROI (with examples)

As consumers wise up to traditional advertising strategies, marketers must work harder to convince them that their hard earned cash should be spent with them. Ethical campaigns may just be advertising's solution.

One of the things that I have seen happening over and over again in the past few years is the severe spike in ethical marketing campaigns that seem to be permeating our environments. We are, of course, living in a technological and communicative era that has helped the consumer get wise to the tools and techniques used by marketers. They no longer respond well to the generic advertising narrative…

“You should buy this! It’s a great product!” - consumers are wise to this age old advertising drivel, and it may not convince them to buy your product…

This means that marketers are working harder to create strategies that actually work. From analysing consumer trends to trying more innovative and different strategies, the game just got a whole lot more creative...

So, what will convince consumers to shop with you?

Well, that is the million dollar question. As more and more consumers turn a blind eye to traditional advertising narrative, more and more marketers are having to think of new and innovative ways to draw the buyers in.

And as GoT’s Tyrion Lannister said:

“There is nothing in the world more powerful than a good story”


As climate change, poverty and anthropological issues hit the media, more and more people are inspired to create good change within our world. The communities that are instigating these changes can be known as grass-roots online communities. They are the strong, interconnected networks of online fan communities. Tapping into the networks that are actually doing the spreading is probably one of the best ways for your company to market itself, make money and positively influence brand identity.

Lets have some examples, then….

Raising Money For Charity Online

One of the best ways to get some good press is by giving money to charity! Not only do non profits benefit from vital funding, but companies will get some great kudos too. My Favourite Voucher Codes is a good example of this. They host a charity poll once a month that sees three charities compete to win 20% of their profits via an online poll. Not only do the charities benefit from the marketing boost and potential to win funding, but the company benefits from the extra traffic and potential increase in sales too.



  • Web Traffic: more people will visit the website in order to vote for their chosen charity.

  • Sales: those who visit the site wanting to vote may invest in the products available.

  • Branding: being known as a charitable company who donates to charity paves the way for PR opportunities as well as promoting an ethical brand identity.

  • Donating: ultimately, the company can help those less fortunate.


My favourite Voucher Codes and other sites such as Savoo and Give as you Live have tapped into the consumer want to do good. Grass-roots groups online are more likely to share content with friends, see them as ethical entities and use their products.

Being Eco-Friendly

Another way that brands are jumping on the more meaningful narrative bandwagon is by affiliating themselves (and their products) with eco friendliness. Iceland is a primary example of this. Their 2018 Christmas ad proclaimed a 50% reduction in palm oil usage and has arguably contributed significantly to the company’s ethical brand identity.


  • Dissemination: they are using the tools available to them to better disseminate anti-palm oil messages online.

  • Branding: they are increasing brand awareness and PR.

  • Increasing sales: people may be more inclined to shop with them knowing that they are the first supermarket to significantly reduce the sale of products with palm oil in them.


Iceland has significantly increased public alliance with their ethical standing. Other supermarkets are now testing similar processes to reduce plastic waste and harmful product packaging, thus creating talking points for grass-roots communities online.

Stories. That is what connects people to brands. The story they tell of themselves is what can ultimately convince the public that you are worthy of their hard earned custom. While there is no perfect recipe for marketing success, doing good deeds, giving money to charity and standing up for the causes that matter is a great strategy to adopt.

What ethical campaign are you currently undergoing, and how does it positively benefit both your company and the society in which we live?

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