REI chief creative officer Ben Steele on what the campaign’s success says about the power of a purpose-driven strategy over marketing spin.

One of the biggest themes across the presentations and conversations among the brands, marketers, and agencies at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was the increasing influence and effectiveness of purpose and progressive thinking. Now, these are often tossed around as buzzwords to make a brief or executive quote look nice. But here, whether it was Deutsch president Kim Getty showing the effect of brands using positive gender images, or Unilever CMO Keith Weed outlining the ways sustainability and progressive imagery are having a direct effect on the bottom line, more and more, these principles are being touted as a business requirement.

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