For the past few decades, it’s been best known as Apple’s ad agency. The partnership between the Cupertino tech giant and TBWA\Media Arts Lab has been among the tightest ever between an agency and a brand. Read any Steve Jobs biography and you’re sure to find TBWA\MAL’s creative chairman Lee Clow.

A few years ago, the agency launched a separate social impact division called MAL\For Good that focused exclusively on marketing and advertising with a goal of making the world a better place.

But now, aligning with a rising trend in both consumer culture and marketing research, MAL\For Good is expanding its scope beyond clients with a dot-org, and they’re aiming to help brands of all types use their marketing muscle to do some good while boosting their bottom line. While the agency says it wants to use its communication skills to help make the world better, recent studies suggest it’s also good for business.

“This is the forefront of a new focus–it’s important to show brands how they can do it,” says Plowman. “Marketing is changing. It’s becoming deeper, more complex, and more transparent. The work we do helps brands to communicate their values and beliefs outwardly, but also internally to employees. Ultimately, our work is about emotionally connecting a brand with its different audiences deeply.”

The key for any brand looking to do more with its marketing budget is to look at it as a long-term investment. Social impact is not a gimmick.

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