Ben Peacock is not a vigilante. He was a creative director on Unilever in Asia before he began Republic of Everyone. Unilever may be one of the most socially responsible big corporations in the world, but it’s in business to flog stuff to people who may or may not always need it nonetheless. Peacock is not in his business to fight big business. One of his clients is Unilever.
Republic of Everyone’s mission is to “make doing good good for business.” Advertising, it states, “has the power to create demand. So let’s use it to demand a better world.”
And Peacock’s mission? He’s a realist. He wants to stop the good team losing ten-nil every time.
So how does ROE make doing good good for business? Rule one: Don’t solve problems. There goes the first rule of classic advertising. ROE has worked out that people don’t like problems. It has also worked out that bringing them up doesn’t do good things for its clients’ business.
“To create positive change, show them what a better world looks and feels like. Show them others doing it, make it fun to do and make it social. Make it ‘the thing’ to do.”
That’s how ROE approached solving food waste. Composting is the answer to food waste. Composting is not sexy. It looks ghastly, smells worse and makes everyday people mutter “feral” under their breath.
But composting leads to gardening. Growing your own herbs, fruit and veggies is sexy. Urban gardening is a trend people will follow. So ROE did not create a composting campaign, it created the Grow it Local movement. Oh..and…there was no media budget, so it began the campaign with 100% free media, then pulled in City of Sydney as a partner. Food waste is a council issue that City of Sydney would pay to have solved.
Here’s the story:
But what about ‘real’ business? Can Peacock’s way of advertising create change for the guys who do a bit of good as a side issue? Well, remember when electric car engines launched? The problem was that they were seen as gutless. So Peacock made the problem disappear. And no, that doesn’t mean he solved it. His creative team launched the Toyota Prius on the promise, “two engines are better than one.”
Oh..and, we mentioned that one of his clients is Unilever. Another is Mirvac. A third is MLA…