An engaging topic being discussed aplenty is the the balance between advertising and social good, and the dangers of tripping into exploitation. Gen Z — good at smelling BS — they like to participate and have an impact but it needs to be authentic and not gratuitous or the rejection will be swift and mighty. Advertisers and the surrounding creative community need to ask “What right does the brand have to stand behind a cause?” Does the brand function or essential messaging connect with an ideal that can reverberate beyond a product sell? If so, the result can be immense brand loyalty inspired by a desire to find meaning and connections well beyond new shoes or a wireless network. TOMS launched it’s brand based on the mandate to help those in need through participatory action – buy one, give one. Other connections are more temporal or subtle, but still powerful. If there’s an honest through line, both the brand and the initiatives it supports, will win. And that’s good.