Where Spirituality and Marketing Collide

August Turak, writing for Advertising Age recently, tells us that spirituality is going to be the defining trend of the 21st century. Think about it. Hollywood films from “The Matrix” all the way to “The Devil Wears Prada” are based on Joseph Campbell’s work on the hero’s journey toward spiritual transformation. Meditation, yoga, and spirituality in business are becoming commonplace, says Megatrends 2010.

Remember Coke's campaign to "Teach the world to sing in perfect harmony"? It foreshadowed this transformational megatrend years ago. Which explains why it’s so memorable.

The marketing challenge is to leverage this trend without being overtly religious about it.

All human motivation, including even decisions about purchases and energy consumption, can be described as an urge to transform. But there are three types of transformation:

  • transforming conditions
  • transforming circumstances
  • transforming one’s being

It’s that third urge towards transformation, the one seeking change from within, that is driving the spiritual megatrend.

Here’s a great tagline from a brand that promises a transformation of being:

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

The Marines, by the way, consistently exceed recruiting targets. And offering that transformation is the only marketing they do.

“Marketing a transformation of being can be more effective than marketing a transformation of circumstances,” says Turak.

How can you leverage this megatrend to market the change of heart, the forgoing of self-interest, that could propel sustainability and environmentalism?