Boomtown encourages inclusion of ‘marketing for good’ elements in client campaigns

Boomtown, the agency behind the recent Stellenbosch University identity redesign, is actively encouraging its clients to rewrite their consumer communication strategies to include marketing for good elements.

Most recently (June 2021), the agency assisted client National Glass draw attention to the gun violence that is wrecking communities in Gqeberha’s Northern Areas with its ‘The Last Child’ initiative and launch a corporate social outreach programme to equip the youth in these communities with life and employable skills.

It has also worked with Sovereign to raise funds for and contribute to Breast Cancer Awareness, helped Nestlé encourage healthier lifestyles and eating habits for children, and devised ‘Clean up your ‘hood for good’ programme for Woodlands Dairy.

In addition to steering clients in the ‘marketing for good’ direction, Boomtown has a growing portfolio of clients with a ‘good’ in their DNA, including RAIN, the Wilderness Foundation, an independent medical practice in Port Elizabeth, and Woodlands Dairy.

The agency initially worked with Woodlands Diary on a ‘Clean up your hood for Good’ campaign but more recently launched a campaign highlighting why Woodlands Dairy was so committed to sustainability within every aspect of its business.

‘The New Norm’ campaign included a sustainability hub on and 17 key communication pillars. A QR code was created that linked to the site and added to packs. Various other marketing materials (POS, etc.)) helped direct people to the site to access information. There was also a competition, which gave away eco-friendly prizes to people who participated in a survey. Currently Boomtown is working on Sustainability 2.0, and aims to roll this out at the end of 2021.

According to CEO Glen Meier, the growth in ‘marketing for good’ in the agency was originally organic, but more recently very deliberate.

“It may sound trite to some, but we’ve always believed that we – as an agency and as individuals – should use our skills to assist others and improve the world we live in. For example, we started our graduate internship programme, Bayeza, in 2012 and are very proud this has assisted 22 – or 2 or 3 a year – talented young graduates enter the industry.

“We then begun suggesting ways in which clients could build brand awareness while doing good. For instance, a few years ago, we convinced Sovereign to divert some of its retail spend into a campaign that convinced women to get checked for breast cancer.

“We also suggested to Nestlé that it publish a Nestlé for Healthier Kids Recipe Promotional Storybook and use digital, mobile and social media as a source of inspiration and entertainment – not the usual meal tips and recipes.

“2020, however, cemented the proverbial deal for us. Having endured, as the rest of the world did, the heartbreak and economic and social upheaval of a global pandemic, we took a decision that our New Boom – our new reason for doing what we do – just had to be all about optimism and bringing hope to people through brands,” Meier said.

According to Meier, the agency is very aware that growth often happens by overcoming challenges and that good can come from like-minded partnerships.

In the current climate, he explained, businesses need an optimistic outlook and need to develop future-focused strategies for brand planning, brand positioning and campaigns, in order to move to their next phase.

To achieve this, positioning your brand inspirationally in people’s hearts, minds and lives is critical. Through deep understanding and innovation for new products and services, we believe there is a better way to build brands – by thinking about what your consumers need, not what you can deliver, Meier said.

“Today, we celebrate the brands that bring hope, and we are privileged to partner with outstanding brands that are doing great work at this time,” he said. “We love working with businesses and organisations who want to use their brand as a vehicle for positive change and real impact in people’s lives.

“In the end, it is about the promise, the potential and the heart of a brand being all it can be, and more. Growing beyond the data, products and profits, to truly connect with its audience in making a positive difference in consumers’ lives.”

But that’s not all; Boomtown upped its own ante with an intake of 10 interns for its 2021 Bayeza programme with the intention of not only to equipping them with suitable work experience but to foster a passion for the industry in the Eastern Cape so that they help build Nelson Mandela Bay’s reputation as a strategic and creative hub to grow its share of the marketing spend by South Africa’s brands.

“Meaning ‘they are coming’ in isiXhosa, Bayeza waves the flag for Boomtown’s commitment to the industry in Nelson Mandela Bay and elsewhere,” said Meier.

“The word can also be interpreted as ‘from the Bay to ZA’ and so, from Nelson Mandela Bay to the rest of South Africa, the Bayeza Programme seeks to produce graduates to go out into South Africa, and the world, and make an impact,” he said.

“The Silent Killer – Hypertension’ for Circular Health, a medical practice in Port Elizabeth, won a Bronze Assegai in the Art Direction category (2020) while ‘Sam Dreams’ for Nestlé won a Silver Pendoring and a Craft Pendoring for Illustration, both in the Print Communication category, at the 2020 Pendoring Awards.

You can view the case studies of the campaigns Boomtown is proud to have contributed to here.

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