Sustainability in the Auto Vertical

From Maral Beylerian, VP Client Services, BEN

What brands have recently created sustainability campaigns that you believe resonated with consumers?

Working at BEN for over 15 years, I’ve seen the evolution of our business as well as brands’ businesses and their missions. Through the years, there’s been an increased focus on sustainability across the board. The client that I think is doing an exemplary job towards this effort, is General Motors. Their Zero-Zero-Zero Mission – Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, and Zero Congestion – is at the heart of their company mission and a huge commitment for a more sustainable future.

GM is promising to deliver an all-electric fleet of 30 vehicles globally, by 2035 with the goal of making EV’s for every person at every price point.  They’re making a promise to have their products and operations carbon neutral by 2040 and aim to eliminate tailpipe emissions from their vehicles by 2035. Beyond that, the GM is investing in infrastructure, working closely with companies and services like EVGo to make the adoption of EV’s as seamless as possible. Their current campaign, “EVerybody In” makes a broad appeal to all consumers to consider EV for their individual lives and needs.

What I admire about GM’s sustainability mission is that it’s not JUST about GM making changes. They are mobilizing leaders across all industries to make this shift to change the world. This makes GM an incredible leader in driving the importance of sustainability efforts.

 

Brands and agencies have faced challenges starting their sustainable journey. What are some of those challenges?

With any change, there is always a period of education and transition that needs to happen. As GM’s longstanding partner for 40 years, BEN is committed to bringing GM’s sustainability vision to life through the work we do together. This includes educating our partners in entertainment and the community at large about GM’s incredible sustainability mission and EV offerings. One way they are pursuing this goal is to connect with consumers through an entertainment strategy and as their client service lead for the past 5 years, I’ve seen firsthand how dedicated this brand has been to remain culturally relevant to shift mindset.

The great news is that sustainability is a focal point of everyone’s life and something we all care about. So, from an entertainment perspective, our partners in the production community are committed and receptive to helping tell that story through their characters and stories.

From a transition standpoint, it’s about ensuring that we have the right infrastructure in place to provide white-glove service to the productions we work with – including products, education and assistance.

 

Marketers with a clear stake in the purpose arena have long made sustainability a part of their messaging to the public. What are ways in which you can support sustainability through a brand's narrative? 

General Motors understands the power of entertainment in reaching and resonating with their consumers in a meaningful way. To that end, GM has invested in, and the built an incredible relationship with, the entertainment community over the decades. As GM’s partner, BEN has taken this journey with them and forged incredible partnerships for the GM brands to tell their story – whether it’s supporting diverse voices through Queer Eye or reaching new consumers with Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies, and so on. We have worked together to craft strategic programs. Similarly with sustainability, our focus is to utilize entertainment to normalize EV use with everyday characters and stories. We want to show stories where characters are plugging in instead of pumping up. The content we watch is a reflection of our everyday lives, and conversely as audiences, we are inspired with content that we watch. As GM takes a holistic approach to shifting the industry and the consumer mindset for a better future, entertainment will undoubtedly play an integral role. We’re proud to stand with GM towards this effort and drive their incredible vision forward, together.

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