Purpose-driven marketing is often treated as an empty buzzword. Dentsu wants to change that.

Dentsu Aegis Network, which owns global creative and performance agencies like iProspect, Merkle and Firstborn, has built social impact principles into its business that goes across all of its companies. According to Angela Johnson, Dentsu Aegis Network’s US Client Development Officer, it’s something that will mark the next generation of marketing.

“Purpose-based marketing seems like it could be a buzzword at the moment, but it’s really deeply important,” Johnson told BeetTV in an interview during Advertising Week. “It’s a generational shift, this drive to know what are you doing beyond making money and shareholder value. What is your purpose as a company? That’s something Dentsu really wants to define, and then activate.”

Dentsu is part of an organization called “Brands Doing Good,” which Johnson says underscores its commitment to developing and marketing products in a sustainable way. For corporate companies, being “purpose-based” means making products more mindfully and in better conditions. Overall, brands need to have a reason for existing.

That’s always been the case, but the bar has been raised. Johnson says social impact marketing today needs to be the “red thread right through everything.” It’s the foundation on which the rest of the brand is built.

What matters most is that brands approach this authentically, something that Dentsu plans to help them do, by finding causes that align with the brands’ cores.

“The worst thing a brand can do is, in an inauthentic way, attach themselves to a cause because it seems like the thing to do at the time,” says Johnson. “The most important thing is to be authentic, and bring your brand to the cause and partner with them more than bolting it on.”

This video is part of a series of interviews conducted during Advertising Week New York, 2019.  This series is co-production of Beet.TV and Advertising Week.   The series is sponsored by Roundel, a Target company.  Please see more videos from Advertising Week right here