There is only so much sand in the hourglass and if you haven’t already figured out what your social media game plan is during a company crisis, please read on immediately.
In today’s age of communications having a social media crisis engagement strategy is critical to preserving your brand. Now more than ever, the public expects an immediate response on social media when a crisis hits. Every minute that passes by without a response is a slippery slope to disaster. According to a recent study on Hubspot 72 per cent of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour. Moreover, 60 per cent of respondents in the survey felt negatively about the brand if they did not receive timely responses.
Here are a few steps to consider on how best to develop a minimal defence on social media when dealing with a crisis:
1. Social Media Monitoring
There are many different software platforms out there but if you do not have a full-time person involved in this process or a person who fully understands how to monitor and what alerts to establish you are far better off to engage the services of a firm that can manage this process for you. The cost of such a monitoring service can run you anywhere from $500+ per month depending on the size of your company. Though software platforms typically cost within this range, the advantage of having an agency manage this for your company is that you don’t carry the additional costs of an employee. At that rate, it makes much more economic sense to outsource.
2. Understanding the difference between and issue and a full-blown crisis
Having a clear understanding of the issue is your first step. You should develop a cascade of responses and protocol to ensure that you don’t escalate an issue like an ice cream spill in a retail store to a crisis like a bank robbery in progress.
Make sure the Crisis Communications Team (CCT) has assigned a senior member to be responsible for any communication approvals for rapid response requirements. It is very important that you don’t delay in responding to customer enquiries even if it means providing placeholder responses noting that you’re aware of the issues and you will get back to them promptly. If you have been in these turbulent waters before you understand how quickly a poorly managed issue can soon escalate into a crisis.
3. First Responders
Know what the program is once your issue has been detected. Every great crisis management plan has protocols and messaging created in advance. Everyone should know who is on the team and what previously crafted responses are ready to go or need to be quickly modified. Your social media responders have to be empowered with baseline responses and a priority sequence on response levels and messaging. Make sure you have a consistent message that can be adapted across all social media channels.
4. Get the message up
Do not waste time pursuing the perfect detailed response. Even if you do not have all the required details, at a bare minimum, you need to inform your audience. Tell them you are aware of the situation and expect to be addressing it more formally within the hour or whatever immediate timeframe possible. This conveys your understanding of the urgency and immediacy of the situation. Also, be sure to display the highest amount of empathy possible. Being abrupt and unsympathetic will only add fuel to the fire.
Make sure your team has a standing ‘if in doubt’ response so that no enquiry goes unanswered. Furthermore, once the correct, informed responses to your issue have been created, make sure your social media manager is able to respond expeditiously, and in the event of uncertainty, that the appropriate level of senior management is available to sign off on the post. Ultimately you will need to post an official response to a situation on your website which will be used by the media, blog writers and others who will be reporting on your issue.
5. Pause your scheduled posts
Nothing can be worse than seeing a light-hearted acknowledgement of an unrelated event magically appear during the heat of a crisis. Disable your scheduled posts immediately. Your customer base needs to know that your priority focus is on the issue at hand and nothing else.
6. Create a crisis FAQ web page
Having a web page that addresses the most frequent questions around the issue gives you the ability to link to answers more efficiently. Details of the occurrence, contacts at the crisis site, lists of products impacted, geographic regions in question, etc., should all be aggregated in one place that can be easily referenced and shared throughout your social media posts.
Once the message is up, make sure you immediately engage with your audience responses. Make sure that you are consistent with your messaging and responding in a polite and caring manner. If you have positive responses, make sure and thank those supporters immediately. There will be individuals that cannot be pleased no matter what the effort and you need to understand this going in.
One tactic you should consider in your response is offering to take the conversation ‘offline’. While you may get a few people accepting this offer, at the very least, you are indicating to the broader audience at large your willingness to address heated and repeated comments directly. Remember, if you are satisfying the majority you have preserved your brand and supporting community.
8. Internal Employees
Your employees need to be made immediately alert to any social media crisis response campaign. It is critical that company employees do not randomly respond or engage in conversations on social. This protocol should be addressed in your employee handbook to protect the company/brand from rogue engagement. Make sure that all employees are aware of the situation when it breaks and to refer to the section in their handbook for references regarding proper behaviour. Also, make sure you keep your employees up to date on all developments and conclusions as they are reached.
9. Document Everything
Make sure you create a log of engagement. Tweets, status updates, blogs, comments on social media—everything needs to be saved in a central repository for future references. Make sure copies of all your emails are recorded. Also, review your campaign. Understand what worked, did not work and your social media activity as it relates to the time series of the event. Review web site traffic patterns and understand where visitors were engaged. Reviewing what happened will only make your campaign stronger the next time it happens.
10. Continue to monitor
One of the most common mistakes to crisis management is thinking it’s over and having it rear its ugly head again four days later. Keep a close eye and adjust your monitoring to key in on higher influencers. As well, make sure you are monitoring key date milestones. In other words, expect that someone will trot out “it was one year ago today…” these are common occurrences, and you need to be prepared.
These are but a few ideas that should help you better prepare. Until your next crisis…
Since its adoption by brands and business, social media has evolved beyond a broadcast platform to a tool that enables you to gather insights about your customers, industry, products and competitors. With the right tools, a social listening strategy can help you earn valuable business intelligence by tracking, analyzing and responding to targeted conversations and keywords.
If you think of the information you can gain from market research, you can implement the same approach to learn from people on social who are already engaging with your brand and your industry. If you approach social media as a giant focus group, ask yourself as a brand, “what problems are you trying to solve, and what data do you need to solve it?”
We can define social listening as the act of monitoring social media platforms for conversation around your brand, clients, competitors, keywords and any other ideas or themes that are relevant to your business. The next step is where we find the real value of social listening: analyzing the information for actionable insights. Those actions can enable you to engage customers, determine consumer behaviour models or shift your overall product or brand positioning strategy.
Social listening is different from social media monitoring by looking beyond social metrics like engagement rate, mentions and followers to learning what the feelings are behind the posts—how people actually feel about you, your competitors and the industry overall.
Make it part of your business strategy
Social media listening should automatically be part of your business strategy—even if you’re already engaging in market research studies, social listening will provide you with scores of actionable data from real people who are actively discussing the subjects you’re monitoring. Last month, Mansfield attended a seminar in Toronto from NetBase, a leading social listening platform. Guest speaker Ravi Imam from 113 Industries spoke about “finding David in your data.” Michelangelo’s David was sculpted from a single block of discarded marble, and just as Michelangelo saw something beautiful in an unwanted piece of marble, there could be a masterpiece waiting in your data—it’s just a question of listening to what it’s telling you and taking action.
On their blog, Hootsuite has a useful list of what to track when starting your social listening monitors:
Because your social listening monitors will pick up what people are you saying about you and your competitors, you’ll be able to determine how your brand fits within the industry, relative to customer perspectives. You’ll see the types of content your audiences are most engaged with and higher level insights around customer behaviour.
With a properly implemented social listening strategy, you will gain a deeper understanding of your brand and industry with insights on how to improve in all areas of your business. Sales teams will learn more about how customers really feel about products and services, marketing personnel will see what content is most valuable to audiences and R&D teams will have direct access to real-time customer perspectives on your products those of your competitors.
With the right tools and keywords, you’ll have the infrastructure in place to mold a David of your own. Read through Mansfield’s entire digital offering here and let us know when you’re ready to put social listening to work for your band.
Should your company’s C-Suite executives be using social media? Even if they should be, chances are they’re not—according to research published in 2016 from CEO.com and Domo, 60 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever.
Whether or not the company brass should be publicly active on social networks depends largely on who they are as a person and how they want to be perceived within the company and the industry. Do they want to appear more relatable and connect more genuinely with employees and colleagues? Conversely, executives may harm the brand if their social media is done poorly. Just look at United Airline’s Oscar Munoz’ response to the controversy around their forced removal of a passenger earlier this year.
To give you an idea of the pros and the cons, we broke down the simple reasons for and against your company’s leaders engaging on social media.
Reasons for getting your company leaders on social:
• Shaping brand views: any executives on social media will serve as an extension of the company and their social media posts coming from the top will support the larger marketing activities. This can help the brand appear more accessible to a larger audience.
• Being approachable to employees: any efforts to be more accessible to outside audiences are applicable within the company itself. When employees are engaged on social media with their leaders they’re likely more satisfied in their job which will lead to less turnover.
• Improving relationships with customers and stakeholders: active execs help show the public and future customers how much the organization values customer experience. CEOs engaging with real people on social media can enhance brand opinions and loyalty.
• Talent recruitment: being adept on social emphasizes a CEO’s know-how with technology. Organizations searching for recruits who are invested in tech-friendly companies may value a CEO who keeps a strong social media presence.
• Keeping abreast of company or industry issues: social media allows CEOs to proactively monitor and participate in the relevant discussions that arise in regards to their company or industry. This can help company leadership react quickly to key industry developments.
On the other side, basic arguments against CEOs embracing social include:
• It may be too time consuming: sometimes time is a CEO’s most valuable commodity and forcing social media on them can take their attention away from more relevant pieces of business.
• It could be inauthentic: it’s not uncommon for executives to let their PR or communications teams run their accounts. While they’re most likely approving the posts, the words may not feel genuine which largely defeats the purpose of a personal social media account.
• The risk factor: if they are running their own accounts, giving a CEO free rein of their can be risky if they’re known for contentious or provocative commentary.
• It could harm internal productivity: if company leadership is seen as proactively social it may encourage employees to spend more time than necessary socializing online leading to decreased productivity.
However, if your company execs see the value in social media, launching them on it is a multi-step process. Approach it like any other social media campaign—establish goals and objectives, set benchmarks and most importantly, figure out the personality they want to project to the world.
Above all the brand humanizing, thought leadership and company updates from the top, their personal brands should shine through on whatever they put out.
If you need help navigating the Social Media landscape, we can work with you in confidence to improve your online presence.
Welcome to another blog post on Influencer Marketing. Be sure to check out our other posts in this series.
Are you one of the 84% of marketers that said they were planning on launching an influencer campaign in 2016? Were you one of the 81% that said that influencer marketing was effective? If you are not one of the aforementioned but you’re planning your first influencer campaign, is your website ready for it? It might be the last thing on your mind after searching the social channels for the voice that best fits your brand and putting the final touches on the creative, but your calls to action have to lead somewhere, and that somewhere is your website.
Hopefully all your homework and research pays off, you have the quiet little influencer that has a ravenous following. The campaign goes out and you start to worry when you can’t access your website at the same time that your influencer’s tens of thousands followers do. You are caught in the worst situation possible, your web server that runs your website is overrun with request and you can’t get it to load.
This isn’t a new issue, when email marketing was in it’s early days, an email deployment without a staggered delivery schedule would suck your hardware resources dry. Today the same is with influencers once they share their link in their social channel, it hits everyone at the same time. Sure there are longtail stats for the content that gets revisited, but if you want to stay relevant, make sure you content is ready to go live and expand on demand.
So you have the influencer, you have the hardware, now where are you going to send the users that want to give you money? If your site has gone through a user experience (UX) audit and had a face lift on your chassis, you may have missed one important feature, the deep link to your content.
If people have made the decision to click through from your influencer, you need to believe they are just as excited to pay or reserve as you hoped your influencer would make them. Always be closing was from the Glengarry Glenn Ross, you have the leads, they have come to you. Make sure your information architecture is set up so you can close with as little effort as possible from the user. One of the first things that your new users should see is an unobtrusive, yet obvious way to let them convert at the click of a link. If you are driving them to take part in your content strategy, have a link to convert when they are done reading it. If your stats are showing that the average video watch time is much less than the total play time, capture them before they disappear and add to your bounce rate.
If I were to make a movie about influencer marketing, my ABC would be “Always Be Checking”. Don’t rely on just one source of your metrics, especially if that only source is your influencer. They can report out of Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights about the clicks from their audience to your site, but are you set up with Google Analytics or your social server to see what your audience is doing after they get to your site? High rates of click throughs from your influencer that don’t correspond to your site’s analytics could be the first indication that your influencer isn’t as authentic as you’d like.
At Mansfield, we don’t want to be the all or nothing agency, we want to do they best for your brand. Our results are data driven, but if you need an audit on your site before you launch your campaign contact us. We are more than willing to help out with one part or all parts of your influencer campaign.
School is now in session and yes, marketing for 2017’s back-to-school season began earlier than ever this year—campaigns from Office Depot and Lands’ End started as early as mid-June before many students even finished their final exams. Compared with 2016, back-to-school TV commercials did not begin airing until mid-July. While marketers are pushing their brands, products and tech earlier and earlier each year, we get even more time to analyze the effectiveness of each campaign.
Here are four notable campaigns from this year’s back-to-school season, plus one classic ad that’s always relevant.
Using YouTube influencers and Snapchat to reach their target audience, the furniture brand enlisted pop music/web comedy stars Superfruit to promote their college dorm products through interactive videos. With Superfruit hosting, the ads utilize Snapchat’s vertical-video ads that let users to “swipe up” to play clips and answer quiz questions around their home décor tastes to find the right IKEA products for them. Once you’ve completed the quiz, you can then click through to IKEA’s website to buy the products featured in the video.
By using influencers to reach their target audiences on a medium they regularly interact on, IKEA created a targeted, engaging and interactive campaign that puts their products top-of-mind for the people most interested in them.
Hewlett-Packard is attempting some serious appeals to our emotions in this tear-jerking ad based around an evolving parent-child relationship and the transition into adolescence. The product it’s actually advertising, the Sprocket Photo Printer, takes a backseat in the narrative while playing an important role within it.
The ad tells a relatable story for parents and kids and gives everyone else a subtle reminder that there’s a nifty cell phone-sized printer to make the moments you capture even more memorable.
Gap has produced a series of ads for Gap Kids with their “Forward with” theme running throughout. The campaign features four short films that each showcase a different life skill for children to adopt. This spot, entitled “Forward with Kindness”, centres around a reading of Raquel Jaramillo’s book, Wonder (that features a boy born with facial defects who helps his community learn about kindness), to demonstrate “the world wants to be kind.”
This ad is also features a racially diverse group of children including some with facial differences to drive home a message of inclusiveness and acceptance to kids returning to school.
Marks and Spencer
This ad for the British multinational retailer is narrated by a seemingly nervous schoolboy walking into his first day of class. Internally, he confronts the highs and lows of his upcoming school semester in an understated and thoughtful message of self-confidence.
Like Gap’s ad, this commercial does not overtly promote any one particular product but makes use of the brand’s status as a household name to instil feelings of encouragement and self-assurance in viewers.
Bonus ad: Staples
This 1996 Staples commercial is a classic, featuring parents skipping down the aisles singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” in anticipation of their kids returning to school, while they follow sluggishly behind with hanging heads.
Staples has used at least five various iterations of this popular campaign throughout the years, with the most recent version running in 2013.
It’s the job of destination marketers to come up with new and creative ways to attract visitors to cities, countries or regions but how can you encourage people to share their experiences and advocate for your destination once they’re there?
Interactive landmarks such as 3D signs or placemaking campaigns centred around immersive engagement are effective ways to capitalize on digital marketing—tourists are naturally compelled to share photos of themselves to mark their experiences and as a result, become consumer-to-consumer marketers with every upload, tweet or share. This demonstrates an understanding of the importance of user-generated content in destination marketing and how destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are using digitally-connected visitors to their advantage to shape the destination brand.
Here is our list of notable destination-based installations and campaigns around the world and the impact they’ve created in consumer-to-consumer marketing:
The I amsterdam sign was installed as part of the city’s I amsterdam rebranding campaign in 2005 but quickly evolved beyond its origins into something bigger—the sign is now recognized as the inspiration to city-marking installations in places such as Lyon, Budapest, Guadalajara and Cleveland. This 3D sign is now one of the city’s most popular landmarks and has grown into four iterations—two are permanent (one in Museumplein and the other at Schiphol Airport) and the other two “playfully change locations around the city“.
In Eye for Travel, David Hornstein calls the sign Amsterdam’s most photographed item, estimating it is shot 8000 times per day during sunny weather.
Advertising agency Sid Lee was hired to promote Montréal as a destination to travellers in 2013 and launched the #MTLMOMENTS campaign in May of that year. To engage people in the hashtag, large photo frames were installed in strategic locations around the city that were designed to capture every day moments experienced by Montréalers and visitors. This initiative was designed for user-generated content with simple, accessible installations made to coax people into sharing their favourite Montréal destinations and activities in a new light.
Around 350,000 #MTLMOMENTS have been shared via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, web traffic increased by 22 per cent and Tourisme Montréal’s YouTube channel recorded nearly 2 million hits.
The Brisbane Letters
Brisbane’s sign was built as a temporary installation along the Brisbane River to mark the 2014 G20 Brisbane summit but its popularity among Brisbanites and visitors enabled the city council to make it permanent—Brisbane’s Mayor Graham Quirk called it “the people’s sign” and saw tens of of thousands of people taking photos with it during its initial run. However, when it was first installed, people were forced into the road in order to fit the entire sign in photographs so city planners moved it further down the river when the permanent version was made.
Designed to showcase the diversity of Brisbane, officials saw opportunities beyond its effectiveness as a destination marketing tool and chose to involve the community in designing the permanent sign—letters were decorated by local groups including the Queensland Country Women’s Association, Amnesty International and the Multicap Association.
The 3D TORONTO Sign
Known officially as the 3D TORONTO sign, this installation in Nathan Phillips Square outside Toronto City Hall was built as a temporary attraction for the 2015 Pan Am Games but the city opted to leave it as a permanent attraction after witnessing the engagement it garnered. At three metres tall by 22 metres long, the LED lights can create an estimated 228 million colour combinations, approximately equal to that of what the human eye can sense. You can even submit a lighting request to the City of Toronto to bring awareness for local not-for-profit and charitable causes or festivals.
In 2016, CityNews estimated it’s served as a backdrop for 120 million posts on social media with the hashtag #share3DTO.
The 1888 Hotel
Relying on user-generated content as a marketing tool has made its way into the private sector as well. When Sydney, Australia’s Hotel Ovolo opened in 2013 (now Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour), it marketed itself as the world’s first Instagram Hotel, offering complimentary stays for guests with more than 10,000 followers on the platform and a free night’s stay to the uploader of the month’s most creative shot. There was also a selfie wall in the lobby with screens throughout showing a stream of auto-updated with the #1888hotel hashtag.
All of these campaigns and initiatives come down to your brand and media hits so when it’s time to rebrand your organization, engage the media or revamp your social media Mansfield is ready to deliver, and contact us at email@example.com to hear about our destination marketing campaigns.
July was full of new advertisements, some better than others. While the regular car, clothing and beer ads hit our screens, so did some ads that hit a bit harder with a deeper message. These ads take the cake for being the best of July, as not only are they aesthetically-pleasing and attention-grabbing, but the messages they portray are important and well said.
GoldieBlox is a children’s multimedia company that challenges gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. GoldieBlox not only creates inspiring toys, but ads as well. In their latest ad campaign, #BeLikeHer, the ad highlights inspirational women throughout the past year that young girls can look up to. The fun, inspirational ad is one of the best ads of July for obvious reasons.
P&G- “The Talk”
P&G’s latest campaign, ‘My Black Is Beautiful,’ is an attempt to start stronger conversations about racism and discrimination. The ad is so effective because the intimate conversations the parents and their children are sharing about racism show the hard conversations that are necessary due to discrimination. The eye-opening ad is hopefully successful in starting conversations and opening peoples’ eyes to racial biases.
Twitter: ‘#SheInspiresMe: Denice Frohman Sets the Stage’
Twitter released a video campaign this month called #SheInspiresMe. The video showcases Poet Denice Frohman performing her poem on inspiring women. The ad only runs a minute long, but is effective in showing an array of women posing during the powerful poem. Quick and effective, much like an Apple ad.
Prego: Welcome To The Family | First-Generation College Students
Prego released this touching ad right in time for students who are getting ready for their first year of college. Seeing as some first-generation college students may not have the same support system as others, they tend to feel more alone than their peers. Prego welcomed first-generation college students from San Diego to a ‘family’ dinner to bring them together with fellow students to share a meal and to become a new college family.
Björn Borg: ‘Borg Open – Tennis Across Borders’
With Donald Trump’s infamous promise to build a wall between USA and Mexico, there have been mixed opinions from both countries. Björn Borg’s ad is wondering why nations are separating when they could be learning from each other instead. They created a tennis match on the border to represent an open world where sports can unite, rather than divide, people.
How much does marketing affect your decisions? Reading positive reviews on a product may influence a purchase, but what about when choosing your next travel destination? Every year, cities, states, provinces and countries release tourism ad campaigns to attract travellers. While seeing a tourism ad campaign may not lead you to book the next flight out, they are useful in creating awareness around an area you may not have considered travelling to before. These campaigns typically showcase the region’s places of interest, happy visitors and unexpected highlights but the best ads dig deeper into what makes the destination truly special to create an effective and memorable ad.
So if you’re still wondering where you should take your summer vacation, we’ve rounded up the six of our favourite tourism ad campaigns of 2017 to give you some ideas.
“Discover Los Angeles: Everyone Is Welcome”
In April, Discover Los Angeles released their global tourism campaign “#EveryoneIsWelcome.” The campaign is intended to remind travellers that everyone is welcome in LA, regardless of the country’s controversial ‘travel ban.’ The campaigns motto, “we believe that what makes us different brings us together. Help Los Angeles share this welcome message with the world,” is a strong one and paired with this ad makes LA look like a good destination to travel to this year.
Tourism Toronto: “The Views Are Different Here”
Our very own Toronto released one of its best tourism ads to date. “The Views Are Different Here,” showcases Toronto’s multiculturalism, the highlights of the city, iconic Toronto moments like Bautista’s bat flip and of course Drake (the title of the ad is a play off of Drake’s ‘Views’ album). The ad is not only extremely well done, but properly advertises the best things about Toronto that make it a great city for anyone to visit (or move to).
VisitSweden: “Sweden on Airbnb”
In a great marketing and tourism idea, Sweden listed the entire country on Airbnb to encourage visitors to get a true experience of the country. The ad is creatively done with the narrator outlining the perks of his home, which is actually just the entire country and its nature. In Sweden, the freedom to roam is a rule which gives citizens the freedom to do anything from sleeping under the stars to swimming in all of the lakes, and now you too can enjoy the freedom in Sweden.
Switzerland Tourism: “#InLoveWithSwitzerland”
The first Indian ambassador for Switzerland Tourism, Ranveer Singh, starred in this ad to showcase his love for Switzerland. Singh runs through his favourite things to do in Switzerland, which includes enjoying the serene views Switzerland is known for, but also includes moments of adventure, like skydiving. The ad does a good job of showing a side of Switzerland that isn’t always showcased.
Nova Scotia: “Let Nova Scotia Surprise You”
This is Nova Scotia’s second year running their “Let Nova Scotia Surprise You” tourism ad campaign. The campaign runs on digital ad banners and videos, televisions and billboards. The campaign aims to show potential tourists things about Nova Scotia that they may not expect to do or see. Ending at the end of this month, the campaign is successful in highlighting the province’s lesser known attractions.
The Philippines: “Experience The Philippines”
The Philippines’ tourism ad is full of bright colours, adventures and happiness: basically, everything you’d want on a vacation. What makes this ad unique? The ending. The campaign slogan, “when you’re with Filipinos, life is better,” is highlighted at the end of the commercial when it’s revealed that the tourist is blind. “You don’t have to see to feel you are home,” is a heartwarming end to an otherwise well-done tourism ad.
Pride Month and the annual Pride parade was a success in Toronto this year. Thousands of people, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, came to the city to join in on the festivities and show their pride. It wasn’t just people showing their pride, but companies as well. Brands that stand with the LGBTQ community in solidarity took Pride Month as an opportunity to show their commitment to supporting the community, as well as using the opportunity to give their brand some positive publicity. Although all of the ads that were made to support equality, some stood out from the rest.
These are the 10 best Pride Month ads of 2017
Nike: Amazon Mother Leiomy for Nike #betrue
In honour of Pride Month, Nike released a video campaign featuring vogue dancing legend, Amazon Mother Leiomy Maldonado aka “the Wonder Woman of Vogue.” The ad shows Maldonado dancing through the streets and with others as an emotional narration by transgender artists Precious Angel Ramirez reads out inspiring questions. Maldonado was the first transgender woman to be on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. This is only one video of a larger “Equality” initiative by Nike.
Mercedes-Benz Canada: Painted with Love #LoveTransforms
Mercedes-Benz Canada celebrated Pride Month in Toronto this year with art. The campaign told the story of LGBTQ people who have been affected by abuse and hate speech. One Torontonian, Daniel Malen, had his home vandalized with a homophobic slur, which inspired the #LoveTransforms campaign. Mercedes-Benz unveiled and documented a mural on a warehouse at Dovercourt and Dupont. The mural is full of bright colours and positive messages. It was quite successful as tons of Torontonians posted the mural on social media with #LoveTransforms to spread the message.
TGI Fridays: TGI Pridays
TGI Fridays was the main partner of Oslo Pride this year, Norway’s largest LGBTQ festival. All Oslo-based restaurants transformed from ‘TGI Fridays’ to ‘TGI Pridays.’ Along with the colourful restaurant and brand makeover, the restaurants changed their washrooms to gender-neutral, the menus, uniforms and blankets were all rainbow-coloured and a ‘Pridays Shake’ was created with proceeds going to The Norwegian Organization for Sexual and Gender Diversity.
Terri & Sandy: Barber Polls #StandForTrans
One barber shop wanted to stop discrimination in barber shops and salons, as many transgender men and women face discrimination in these public spots. Barba, a men’s grooming shop, wanted to show their pride this year by creating this ad against transgender discrimination. The shop went even further by offering customers the opportunity to get their hair dyed blue, pink and white (the colours of the transgender flag) for free during Pride.
GoNOLA: “Reverse Parade”
New Orleans was ready for Pride Month months before it actually took place. During Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation ran a reverse Pride parade, which had members of the LGBTQ community walking backwards, removing their costumes, makeup and wedding rings. The idea was to represent progress and as a testament of the city refusing to go back in time and to always stand up for their LGBTQ community.
Equinox: “LGBTQAlphabet: Six Letters Will Never Be Enough”
Equinox perhaps created the most creative ad to celebrate Pride Month this year. The ad grows the definition of “LGBTQA” into the full alphabet with 26 different definitions of ways to communicate who you are. The ad portrays messages of love, support, positivity and of course, pride. The incredible choreography done in the ad is another reason why this ad became one of the top Pride ads of 2017.
Kimpton Hotels: “Let’s Never Stop Dancing”
For more than a dozen years, Kimpton Hotels has been offering hotel deals during Pride. This is the second ad vogue dancer Leiomy Maldonado starred in to support Pride. Maldonado starred in their ads as well as offered dancing classes to visitors. The hotel chain is also making a donation to The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth.
Uber: Whatever Your Road, Ride With Pride
Uber showed their pride with an ad about what Pride means to its partners, drivers and riders. Uber used some well-known members of the LGBTQ community, like makeup YouTuber James Charles, to spread the message. The short ad and their slogan “whatever your road, ride with pride” was a good way to spread a positive message about both Pride and Uber as one of its allies.
Skittles: Give the Rainbow
Skittles capitalized on Pride with a creative ad campaign that stripped skittles and the packaging of all of its colour. The campaign slogan was “during Pride, only one rainbow matters,” which is why they took all the colouring out of the candy and the packaging. It turned out to be a successful and creative campaign that showed the company’s pride for the LGBTQ community.
Lush Cosmetics: Valentines Day
Lush’s campaign was actually for Valentine’s Day, but it caused up such a stir on social media that it was rediscovered during Pride. The campaign consisted of photos of a gay couple and a lesbian couple bathing together in a bath using Lush’s products. After all of the positive messages they received, Lush posted some behind-the-scenes shots of the photo-shoot affirming their commitment to the LGBTQ community with #loveislove.
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