The Go(o)d Samaritan of Advertising


If the corporate world was ever looking for a conscience keeper, it need not look beyond Thomas Kolster. In an age where there is an increasing distance between ‘ trust ‘ and ‘ advertising ‘, Thomas brings to the fore the creative challenges that brands and organisations have in making its audiences aware of its charitable, philanthropic initiatives. He has been called Mr Goodvertising for a reason. As an author, keynote speaker and sustainability expert, Thomas delights, provokes and convinces his audiences to choose a path less tread. Just a few days post the release of Thomas’s latest book, The Hero TrapBrandKnew, published by ISD Global, engaged with him for an all bets off audio conversation. Pleased to present the same in it’s true, non sanitised state.


BK: Could you share a bit about your growing up days, your family etc?
BK: What originally leaned you into advertising & marketing and has kept you there for so long?
BK: Could you do a ‘ once upon a time…’ for us: in the context of what the industry used to be when you came on board and what you are experiencing in the ‘now’ ?
BK: You are called Mr Goodvertising. Tell us how that came to being
BK: ‘ A Post Purpose World ‘- how do you define it?
BK: CSR once upon a time used to be an obligation but now it has become a strategic compulsion for brands- would you agree with this?
BK: Share with us the big motivation behind writing your first book Goodvertising and your learnings from that
BK: 6 is the new 30. Shorter attention spans, vertical orientation, platforms like IGTV, the potential of UGC(User Generated Content): are we moving from the overt to the covert, appealing to the sub conscious rather than the conscious? What is your take and what are the learning and lessons for brand marketers and content creators in all these?
BK: Meaning, Purpose, Culture– few organisations that walk the walk on these seem to getting to where they want to? How does one make these contagious?
BK: Could you share some examples of brands that are getting their purpose act real right?
BK: Stop asking why and start asking who: how do you frame it in the context of what Simon Sinek alludes to ‘ Start With Why ‘?
BK: Share with us your inspiration for writing ‘ The Hero Trap ‘- and what do you see people taking away most from this book?
BK: What caused you to title the book ‘ The Hero Trap ‘ ?
BK: You are making the case to move ‘ from mass to me ‘- could you elaborate?
BK: How radical is the WIIFM(What’s In It For Me) Syndrome? Are brands missing the boat here?
BK: Do you see the Future Competitive Advantage for organisations as a ‘ Collaborative Advantage ‘ wherein competition as is conventionally understood is spelled without the ‘m’ in it? to be called ‘ co-petition ?
BK: In our practice at ISD Global with brands and organisations, we have been proposing the value and impact of ‘UFP (Unique Feelings Proposition)’ and then by design move away from USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in an increasingly commoditised world. Do you see a new brand culture emerging based on the aforementioned?
BK: What do you enjoy doing more- writing, speaking or consulting?
BK: Could you tell us about the books and people who have inspired your life and career?
BK: What makes Thomas Kolster go ‘Wow, another day at work’?
BK: What do you do in your spare time? Your leisure time pursuits?

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About Author

Suresh Dinakaran

Suresh Dinakaran is the Chief Storyteller at ISD Global, a brand strategy & creative ideations entity based out of Dubai and Managing Editor, BrandKnew. With over two decades of insights, expertise and experience in building and growing brands across multiple geographies and media platforms. Passionate about innovation, disruptive ideations, creative leadership and imaging the future apart from writing, movies, music and sports. He can be reached on

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