The Australian Open had a grand slam event for pride. This should be a Pride Win but it ended up being a Pride Fail because they had the Pride flag upside down. Now, the intentions were there, and it’s great they had this event in the first place, and to give the AO the benefit of the doubt, we believe they subcontracted the event to another provider, but this is a good example of how brands can be Virtue Signalling without the proper knowledge of what the cause is. Or in this case, which way the pride flag goes.
More demand has grown for brands and companies that align with our values thanks to Millennials and Gen Z’s. Many companies with unethical practices are constantly exposed online, and thanks to the internet, news reaches around the globe faster than anyone could even blink.
Social causes have been at the forefront of marketing for organisations and this has led to a huge rise in virtue signalling. These brands claim that they care about a cause you also care about, influencing you to buy their products or services. Some companies are successful at this and they should serve as a role model that other companies should follow. For example, we have Patagonia. They’re a company that isn’t just talk. They back it up with action points that align with their brand.
Companies need to understand that value-driven marketing requires a genuine commitment to the cause and people these days can see through any superficial virtue signalling they’d do.