Archive for Cause Advertising
One of the most popular brands is striving to make a difference in the world. Coca-Cola recently placed specially made vending machines in India and Pakistan. These machines are called ‘Small World Machines’ and actually serve as a live communication portal between people in the two countries.
India and Pakistan have been enemies for over 50 years and no one has been able to establish peace between these two countries. Coca-Cola has taken a novel approach to attempt to bring the people of these countries together.
Coca-Cola used a special technology that allowed people to make direct eye contact and touch hands. The machines were placed in shopping malls in Lahore in Pakistan and New Delhi in India in March. “When the machines came on, there was just this really powerful energy – laughter, smiles, cheers,” said Jackie Jantos Tulloch, Coke’s creative director. Afterwards, they were rewarded with a free can of Coke.
Following the warm exchanges between Indians and Pakistanis, Coke-Cola produced a video showing what happened.
It’s admirable that Coca-Cola made such a bold move and really tried to make a difference in the lives of others. There are opportunities for brands to reflect greater diversity and equality all around the world. More brands should lean in to make a social stand and help make the world a better place.
Mary Kay Cosmetics has been committed to improving the lives of women for the past fifty years through The Mary Kay Foundation- donating more than 31 million dollars to education, prevention, and services for domestic violence against women.
In the most recent initiative, Mary Kay demonstrates relevant and engaging cause-related advertising in Don’t Look Away, a national campaign aimed to promote safe & healthy relationships for young women and end relationship abuse. The online commercial addresses the issue of abuse in a candid, informative manner told from the perspective of abuse victims. This viewpoint makes Mary Kay’s cause relevant and resonates with the target audience- young females. More importantly, Mary Kay offers a support system for young females seeking relationship advice through the confidential, national texting service (Loveisrespect). Mary Kay’s service offers help and advice by texting “love is” to 77054, fostering engagement, trust, and intimacy with consumers while at the same time solving the problem.
Nadeau, author of Living Brands, argues that technology provides us with new ways to create a dialogue between brands and people. Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away encourages a dialogue between the cosmetic company and consumers that promotes positive social change to improve the lives of women around the glove; a core competency of the organization.
In 2007, World Wide Fund (WWF) began an culturally smart advertising campaign to educate the Chinese populace about the wildlife & ecoregion conservation. WWF hired Dentsu China, who in turn charged art director Yan’gang Wang & copy writer Lili Su, with the complex task of communicating the need to employ more sustainable and ecologically friendly approaches to China’s activities as an emerging yet powerful global economic and cultural player. The message is simple and encourages individuals to be conscious of the consequences of their personal consumption and development through incorporating cultural symbols and trends.
The Dentsu team composed three provocative print ads linking man-made violence to wildlife through incorporating tattoos (which is a symbol of a person’s commitment to their beliefs in China). After a basic analysis it is easy to see that this campaign is communicating on many different levels for many different audiences.
|Surface Level||Tiger Tattoo; Male Left Pectoral; Slash wound; blood||Eagle Tattoo; Male (?) back, right shoulder blade; gunshot wound; blood||Shark Tattoo, Male (?) abdomen; stab wound; blood|
|Intended Meaning||Violence against wildlife is violence against human life;||Violence against wildlife is violence against human life||Violence against wildlife is violence against human life|
|Cultural Meaning||Power (or ability to accomplish progress) is in danger of unchecked manmade violence.||Freedom & happiness is in danger of unchecked manmade violence.||Sexual potency and vitality is in danger of unchecked human manmade violence.|
After viewing a video from China Daily, in which the recent growth in positive Chinese attitudes regarding tattoos is discussed and attributed to the import of Western values, it may concluded that this campaign specifically targets Chinese male youth. Not only are these youth more accepting of tattoos, but as males entering a predominately male (and still socially conservative) economy they will encounter industry practices that may be harmful to the environment. Through linking the modern Chinese consumer’s interest in self-expression/conviction with interest in the environment, this campaign evokes the traditional Chinese value of the concern for the community over the concern for the self by including wildlife as part of the community. Well Done!
The Better Business Bureau, the organization that presides over the Beer Institute, recently ruled that the Coors Light Bus Boy ad unintentionally violated the Beer Institute’s Advertising and Marketing Code. According to the code, “Beer advertising and marketing materials should not portray or imply illegal activity of any kind.” In the ad, there is a male that is constantly picking up Coors Light beers in a bar setting. After a while, a waitress notes that the “new bus boy” is doing a great job of cleaning off beers on the tables, to which the boss responds “I didn’t hire a bus boy”. While the underlying or intended meaning of the ad is that Coors Light is so good that people will go to crazy resorts to get it, an additional meaning that Coors Light is worth stealing is the reason for the criticism towards the ad.
While I wouldn’t have really taken such a literal meaning from the ad, I believe the rationale of the Beer Institute is understandable. While Coors itself doesn’t really believe that they have done wrong, they have agreed to stop running the ad as a result of the Better Business Bureau’s ruling. Alcohol advertising is a part of the overall institute of advertising that gets a lot of criticism for unethical advertising. I commend the Beer Institute for creating a non-legal but authoritative ethical standard in an attempt to change this reputation. If we as advertisers continue to create standards for ourselves and regulate ourselves, I believe we will be able to eventually gain credibility and positively impact people’s attitudes towards advertising while performing our business related roles.
I also believe that as advertisers we must look at our ads from several perspectives before we publish the work. While Coors intended to sell their product using a humorous story, there are ways to use humor without portraying or romanticizing illegal activities. If we could really scrutinize our work from an ethical point of view, we could avoid wasting time and money airing ads that won’t be approved our self-regulating structures. By taking time at the forefront to view the ethical impact of our advertising messages, I believe we can avoid a lot of time wasted and financial loss in the future.