Changing Behaviors

Some have suggested that savvy government marketing could be more effective than laws at changing behaviors—even Bill Clinton rallied ad execs last week in Cannes to realize their unique power to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Given the resources of beverage companies, a former Coke executive says activists and governments need to use the same marketing strategies to steer consumers toward healthier choices. Similarly, philanthropist Kathryn Davis advocates rebranding the field of science to encourage American students to want to study STEM subjects. Fostering joy and understanding seems to be President Obama’s approach, too—rather than promoting “No Child Left Behind”-style mandates, he’s said that maker fairs and robotics competitions are key to increasing interest in science and innovation—more carrot, less stick. Will brands or agencies take the lead in elevating higher-order concepts into compelling brands, using marketing tactics for the benefit of their bottom line and the greater good?

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