Epica Celebrates its 30th year of Creative Excellence
A conference was recently held to commemorate Epica’s 30th anniversary entitled, 'When Advertising Becomes Artvertising'. The event, held at the Panama Club, was attended by globally prominent speakers, who exchanged fresh thoughts and ideas about the communications industry. Opening the show was Danish author
renowned for his book, "Goodvertising", who went through a multitude of examples related to brands that truly attempted to do good in their respective communities.
In an exclusive interview with Arabad, Kolster, when asked about the limit of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) said, "CSR is what companies need to do, whereas doing good is what they want to do to solve a problem." But when confronted with an opportunistic side to brands, Kolster gave the example of American Express who is the founding partner of Small Business Saturday, a manifestation
December 2016 that supports small businesses in the United States. He elaborated saying, “The company has, since the seventies, been donating one cent out of every American Express card transaction for the rehabilitation of the Statue of Liberty in the United States." Another example he gave relates to Nike’s Flyknit shoes, which were purposely designed to require much less sewing and fabrication, and raw materials, thereby producing much less waste when compared to regular sneaker production.
Kolster started out as a regular Joe in the traditional advertising field before everything changed when he attended COP15, the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. "Naively,” he recalled, “I truly believed we could arrive at a solution to world issues during that conference. The event was the jumpstart that got me to start thinking about the environment. An ad I remember from the time was for a car brand, which read, ‘we bring our cars by train’. It was that brand's contribution to solving the issue."
Asked about whether the altruistic vision came from the fact that Denmark was a society in which the government would provide too much to the population, including cell phones for example - Kolster replied, "It literally differs from one society to the other. In certain countries, multinationals are rebuked if they interfere in people's lives, whereas in other countries the government is so overwhelmed, that companies see it as their duty to interfere, and in doing so, affect change. Unilever is a prime example of companies really trying to do good. They have a vision of where they want to be in people's lives."
The topic drove the question of whether he believes his projects have had any tangible effects? ''I have done projects in Mozambique, where one hairdresser had one bucket of water for all his clients. In some nations saving and recycling is part of population’s DNA and it is up to us to take them father on that journey," Kolster concluded.
Next on stage was a creative brand strategist and co-founder of Lava Lab, a company dedicated to introducing innovation in museums through design, technology and art. She spoke about museum branding and her outreach attempts to millennials aimed at attracting them to a culture, which supposed is not their own. Examples included the rikjsstudio app, launched by the venerable Rikjs Museum, which allowed a younger category of potential museum goers to play with the artworks, store them according to details as well as mix them and rework them accordingly. Another wonderful case study was the Moscow Design Museum, which started out as a dream, a major pre-opening campaign, only to reach tremendous buzz