Earth over ease: the audiences compromising for good

Earth over ease: the audiences compromising for good

8th May 2024

In the Temu era of unfettered access to any product at the push of a button, some audiences are rethinking their relationship with convenience - compromising immediate gratification for long-term benefits related to their body, beliefs and beyond.

Compromising behaviours

A huge area of compromise that audiences are making is for the greater good of environmentally sustainable choices. Electric vehicles are a huge symbol of compromise - some believe that they compromise on function compared to the industrial power of gas-guzzlers, with many refusing to give up their growling engines. This plays into something much wider than pure functionality: identity. For many, petrol and diesel cars have strong ties to masculinity and even, in some cases, national pride.

However, brands are finding a way of breaking through those identity ties and reaching a new audience: by making compromise look cool. In conversation with Jess Francis and Oliver Orlik from McCann Worldgroup in ‘The Audience of Sustainability’ episode of the Audiences Podcast, Pulsar CEO Fran discussed how some brands are encouraging audiences to make the sustainable choice in their marketing - especially in the advertising of electric vehicles. Naturally, they are having to do this against a headwind of misinformation narratives.

So how do brands take control of the narrative? Jess Francis explained that harnessing national identity is hugely successful in EV trucks. The trucks are “continually selling out and being on waitlists because of the American love for a pickup truck, and that is so core to American culture.” She sees a future where society’s culture will be to make the sustainable option the default, and that the journey to this is using branding and marketing to show that compromise ends up “adding to their life,” rather than feeling like a sacrifice.

Oliver Orlik adds that though electric vehicles aren’t the most predominant purchase, the sleek and bold electric vehicle advertising “will have a slow drip pushing society to go, ‘no, this is the cool car that I want.’” Hear the full clip below:

To listen to the full episode, check out The Audiences Podcast on Spotify or Apple Music.

But what about when a sustainability-focused audience decides to compromise against their wider beliefs?

Melissa Nassimiha, Insights Manager at Colart joined us for a talk on Sustainability & Behavior at our ‘Audiences of Sustainability’ event in November 2023. She told us that Colart’s research finds that artists are “a very socially conscious audience” who tend to practice sustainable behaviors in their daily lives, such as recycling and ethical consumption, but when however, acrylic paints and other art materials mean that “they compromise when it comes to their art - because they feel that it's not an area where they're willing maybe to give up on quality yet.”

Watch the full clip from Melissa below:

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Colart’s artist audience doesn’t care at all about sustainability. As Melissa states, the artists “do their best in other areas of their lives,” but their art is an area where their passion and trust in their products leads them to choose the material that will outlive the artist, last decades and keep its color and quality over time despite its unsustainable nature.

It’s clear that, when looking through the lens of sustainability, different audiences have boundaries on where they find compromise to be ‘worth it’ or not - but the story doesn’t end there. Interested in learning more about audiences that embrace compromise? Join us as we delve into why some audiences are choosing to sacrifice comfort for values, money-saving, sustainability, cultural capital, identity and more. 

Sign up to our upcoming webinar Compromise: why consumers are avoiding convenience on Wednesday 15th May at 8am PST / 11am ET / 4pm BST by filling out the form below.

compromise webinar social card

We’ll be joined by Katrina Russell, Director at Sign Salad, Oliver Orlik of McCann and founder of sustainable baby clothes company NINA and Pulsar Associate Research Director Oryelle Clements who will be using case studies in areas such as natural deodorant, ethical clothing, low-sugar diets and more.

Join below to uncover:

  • How brands can learn from audiences that are willing to compromise
  • What it takes to make an audience are embrace discomfort
  • Why core values can move audiences to make alternative choices

Interested in learning more about compromise? Sign up to our webinar below: