Communication For Good. 2019 Italy Trends

The research conducted by The Easy Way and EG Media shows a growth in the frequency of issues related to environmental sustainability in the last year and an increase in the number of companies that refer to these issues .

For the research a random sample of creativity spread over the media of the first four-month period 2019 was selected, from which key words were drawn that indicated a direct and indirect association with the broad telematics of sustainability, borrowed from the literature generated by the UN Agenda 2030 and related sustainable development goals. At the same time, a web study has allowed us to draw up a list of keywords related to the word sustainability so as to classify it based on the number of searches made by users in a given sequence. A highly articulated semantic framework emerged within which one of the prevailing issues or concepts is environmental sustainability. For this reason, EG Media and The Easy Way have dedicated the first monitoring report ‘Communication that is good for the environment’.

In detail, 219 creatives faced environmental sustainability issues in the first quarter of 2019, up 33% on the same period of the previous year. In particular, 9 the most used words: environment, ecology, pollution, plastic, ocean, planet, recycling and recyclability, waste waste, sustainability. If we compare our set of keywords relating to environmental sustainability with some image words – unequivocally different from sustainability – that have always characterized advertising communication as Love, Expense, Family, Speed, it emerges that in the first four months of 2019 we talk a lot about environmental sustainability (265 total occurrences on the keywords set) and love (267 occurrences in the same period) or speed (244)and a little less compared to Family (301) or Spesa (349 occurrences).

In particular, the increase in the frequency of the word environment (+ 31% compared to 2018) is relevant, confirming itself as the second most used in environmental creativity. Also important is the increase in some key terms such as plastic + 73%, recycling + 66% and planet + 80%, which specify the initiatives taken by companies to reduce their environmental impact, or with which topics the brands wish to be associated . Equally surprising is the decadence of a term that has always characterized the Green approach in Italy: ecology -33%.

The word specific sustainabilityis used in 2019 approximately the same number of times compared to the previous year, with an increase of 11%, decreeing 2018 as the year of the sustainable boom, where in 2017 the occurrences detected for the keyword sustainability were only 32. So if the sign sustainability has maintained a certain constant distribution over the last 12 months, but it is true that its semantic content has been articulated through different seeds determining a lower intension. In other words, given the wide extension of the sign ‘sustainability’, which is enriched over time by a wide range of indicated objects (sustainable planet, sustainable fishing, sustainable agriculture etc.), the ‘intension’ is diminishing in an inversely proportional manner of the seed ‘sustainability’ therefore, to attest its semantics,

In the first four-month period 2018, there were 85 brands that talked about sustainability in various ways, while in the same period the number grew by 34% to 219, involving an increasingly important number of product categories. In particular, the sectors that have shown the greatest interest in communication regarding environmental sustainability are the energy sector + 48% the food supply plus 41% and the large-scale distribution + 13%.

From the cross-analysis on TV and the press, it emerges that in 2019 sustainability as a macro-theme has generated 206 releases for 65 creatives with 72 occurrences on the press : the press is thus, between the two, the medium on which the theme is proposed more variegated . Television instead is the most reiterative medium with a total of 2307 passages in 4 months for 22 creatives and 24 occurrences. In practice, Italians have heard about sustainability on TV more often, but with less variety than has happened in the press

The report analyzes which communication styles adopt advertising messages related to environmental sustainability: According to the archetypal branding model, the communication strategies adopted by companies differ in relation to the archetype that the brand wishes to embody. In the corpus of creativity analyzed in the monitoring we found the presence of 6 archetypal figures adopted: the wise, the innocent, the guardian angel, the magician, the explorer, the sovereign.

Ultimately, the monitoring confirmed that the communication of environmental sustainability is a strongly expanding trend and that some companies define a model to follow for other market players. The direct consequence is that there is a great responsibility on the part of the companies that have decided to embrace the cause of environmental sustainability: most of the messages have as a ‘mission’ to induce people to reflect on the effect of their consumption practices on the environment. For companies, the strategic goal of this approach is to create a strong community of loyal consumers who value the brand’s products, but above all its values.

Transparency is the key to success for communication that has a precise environmental purpose. Reaching the right audience with the right message is the goal of every company and, even if it’s not always easy, being honest with consumers is the first step to get there.

Since today it is really difficult for consumers to trust the brands that embrace “causes” without having demonstrated that they “truly believe” in what they say, helping the consumer to acquire accurate and truthful information on sustainable actions and social commitments that companies tell in their advertising becomes a priority.


The complete analysis and other topics are present in the Full Report ‘The communication that does Good. To the Environment ‘