Social marketing, not to be mistaken for social media marketing, is when a brand combines commercial marketing with a social issue. Typically, a brand’s approach is to portray a positive message in the hopes of persuading its audience to get involved in progressive behaviours that will benefit others and the community, while also associating their brand with the positive message. If successful, a brand shines light on a current social issue and brings favourable attention to themselves.
Highlighting social good not only gives the brand good publicity, but also secures customer engagement, as it gives loyal and new consumers alike a reason to resonate with the brand. From women’s issues to environmental awareness, brands take on a wide variety of issues to distinguish themselves as a socially aware brand. Brands are constantly pushing out new ad campaigns to boost themselves and their social morale. Last week alone, we saw five social marketing ad campaigns that are quite effective in starting a discussion and raising brand awareness.
These are the five most powerful ad campaigns going on right now:
1. #YouHaveRightsNYC – the New York Commission on Human Rights
The New York Commission on Human Rights just launched a $468,000 ad campaign of 2,260 placards on subways and ads in newspapers and in various spots around the city. With the rise of complaints to the commission describing racial and religious discrimination, the city is rolling out this ad campaign to fight against discriminatory behaviour. The ads feature various minorities alongside a quote against discrimination and their rights under the NYC Human Rights Law. This ad campaign is successful in both promoting NYC as inclusive and addressing the social issue of discrimination.
2. #IsItOkForGuys – AXE
As apart of its ‘Find Your Magic Initiative,’ AXE is collaborating with influencers and three non-profit organizations to explore the issue of toxic masculinity. After commissioning a study that found that 72 per cent of men have been told how a real man should behave, AXE created this new ad campaign. Their latest video, ‘Is It Ok For Guys?’ focuses on real questions men have been Googling about masculinity. The powerful ad encourages men to embrace their differences and rise against damaging stereotypes with the final question of “Is it okay for guys to be themselves?” This ad successfully represents AXE as a forward-thinking, inclusive brand, while also shining light on harmful gender stereotypes.
3. #OurVoicesAreVital – Greenpeace
After a multi-million-dollar lawsuit was filed against Greenpeace by Resolute Forest Products last year, the environmental group is striking back with its biggest marketing campaign to date. #OurVoicesAreVital is an ad campaign complete with a social media launch and various videos, which encourage people to use their own voices against corporations that stand in the way of fighitng environmental, social and political issues. The new video shows the positive effects of collective protest through different mediums. Greenpeace is not only bringing attention to their ongoing legal battle, but also giving their own brand some good publicity.
4. #YouKnow – Carefree
‘You know what makes you feel confident’ is the newest collection of videos just launched for Carefree’s ‘No one knows’ campaign, which focuses on women sharing their secrets about having their period. The campaign will rollout across Canada with the hope that women will embrace the vulnerability they feel about their periods. Carefree wants to start a conversation around #YouKnow that ideally will revolve around women sharing their tips, tricks and stories. Carefree’s goal is to represent real female empowerment, with real women and true stories that are relatable, instead of the unattainable ads we usually see. Carefree has highlighted female empowerment, while also labelling themselves as a relatable brand.
5. #BlacksDontVote – Operation Black Vote
Operation Black Vote is an initiative in the UK that works towards having better racial justice and equality. ‘Blacks Don’t Vote’ is their current campaign focused on getting minorities to register and vote to make a difference. 1.4 million black and ethnic minorities didn’t vote in the UK last year and with the election coming up in a few weeks, this group is working towards giving minorities a voice. Right now, 28 per cent of minorities aren’t registered to vote. These simple ads are a plea to get registration numbers up. With this powerful ad campaign, Operation Black Vote is addressing the social issue of the lack of minorities voting, while also gaining traction around their initiative.
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