Do you remember the first time you saw an ad that moved you? They may relate to you personally, therefore strengthening your beliefs and challenging you to act. We have seen feminine hygiene brands promoting gender equality and car brands promoting an eco-friendly environment. Social good campaigns mean big business for brands while making a huge difference in the world.
This first post in a 2-part post series shows how taking a stand and acting on current socio-cultural events can give your brand a lift in customer loyalty and sales. The second post focuses on brands that successfully implemented social good campaigns.
Social Good Campaigns: What They Are
Social good campaigns focus on giving back to the community and bringing people together to change for the greater good. ChuckJoe defined it as an “amazing way to align your brand with a purpose and inspire consumers to share your story.” Consumers connect with brands who support causes that are in line with their beliefs and values. For example, Wendy’s is known for promoting adoption. Mattress Firm is known for promoting causes that support foster children. Aveda is known for supporting causes like Global Green Grants that champion the environment. Consumers who also support adoption, causes that benefit foster children, or the environment may be more likely to be loyal to these brands. Furthermore, brands give their employees a sense of pride and higher cause for work.
The Marketing Journal coined it Brand Activism, which is an evolution of marketing and corporate-driven initiatives. Being values-driven, campaigns focus on the “future of society” and the “planet’s health”. Consequently, the purpose is always related to justice and fairness for all.
Brands who target millennials should consider adding social media campaigns to their strategy. The Marketing Journal added that millennials have high expectations for brands to help make the world a better place. They are not giving much focus on brand positioning, but on how its causes relate to them and the community.
Social Good Campaigns: What They Are Not
Although social good campaigns and politics may sometimes be related, they are not necessarily political. Brands may react to a political issue, but do so with neutrality. Additionally, they focus beyond politics and move people to a good cause.
For example, The Garden Collective, an ad agency in Toronto, created a campaign to show support to Americans during the recent elections. They used the hashtag #TellAmericaItsGreat and posted a video of Canadians telling why America is great. The goal is to invite other Canadians to show support to Americans by posting videos using the hashtag. The video that was originally posted has gone viral. A website was created to house the other videos that came in. In effect, The Garden Collective’s reach and exposure increased. The campaign was neutral in the sense that it did not strike a person or idea harshly. Instead, it looked beyond politics and offered Americans support in a tough time.
In addition to being not political, social good campaigns do not have to live entirely on any social media platform alone. Successful social good campaigns outlive any Twitter campaign or any single fundraising activity. They invite people to act on good cause, and most of the time, it goes beyond sharing something online.
Benefits of Social Good Campaigns
Based on the content we already shared, we know that social good campaigns:
- Create a sense of purpose for your brand.
- Improve workplace morale.
- Grab the attention of millennial consumers.
Using influencer marketing to respond to social issues makes your brand on trend. As you become socially relevant, your brand’s exposure is increased. More importantly, consumer trust is strengthened. For example, you activate a Twitter campaign to raise funds to end world hunger and use the hashtag #endworldhunger or #riseagainsthunger. These posts will be seen by almost all social activists who follow these trends on social media. In effect, they instantly become part of your audience. With consistency on your advocacies and causes, your brand will be put to a position of integrity. Soon enough, it will be easy to capture consumers’ trust.
Brands should be aware, however, that working with the right message is as important as having a smooth delivery. ClickZ offered a word of caution: “It’s easy to win the audience with the right message, but it’s even easier to end up in a public backlash if you fail to make the right emotional connection.” Although many brands have succeeded in activating social good campaigns, others have suffered from repercussions by being inauthentic or irrelevant. So, brands should be ready to check the boxes that cater to a good definition of a social good campaign and mitigate adverse reactions.
How to Choose Influencers Wisely for Social Good Campaigns
In choosing influencers to represent your brand, authenticity is always key. Consumers are best at scrutinizing influencers’ authenticity than anything else. That is because of our definition of this campaign as values-driven, and not marketing or corporate. Forbes pointed out that a “…new campaign does not always require a new face. Brands should consider tapping into the roster of current brand ambassadors, as this fosters brand consistency and will likely feel more authentic to consumers.”
Similarly, brands should find influencers who are relevant and neutral, especially when responding to political issues. There is a thin line between social and political causes, and brands are prone to missing the mark. To help resolve that, AdLibbing offered a few tips on how to remain social in a political area. With this guide in hand, brands can vet influencers on whether they are authentic, relevant, or neutral.
Take a look at the above screenshot. Covergirl showed relevance by targeting the current social issues regarding gender-based discrimination. They partnered with a Texan model to represent their campaign: “I am What I Make Up.” The model has a condition called Vitiligo, in which patches of skin lose its color due to damaged pigment cells. In the ad, Amy Deanna applied two blends of foundation—one covering her white spots, and the other highlighting it. She shared one line in the short clip, “Why try to blend in when you can choose how to stand out?”. She clearly conveyed the brand’s message, which is women empowerment and self-love. Covergirl chose an influencer who is authentic and relevant in responding to a social issue.
Wrapping It All Up
Social good campaigns promote noble causes, are values-driven, and invite people to act. In effect, they increase customer loyalty to the brand. They may relate to improving relationships and communities or creating a healthier environment. They are beneficial in being socially relevant, improving workplace morale and targeting millennial consumers. When responding to social or political issues, brands are responsible in choosing influencers who are authentic, relevant, and neutral.
“What social good campaigns have you implemented and how did it affect your brand’s integrity and reach?
Brand activism: Why more campaigns focus on social good
Putting the Social in Social Good
Social Good Campaigns Are Here And They Aren’t Going Anywhere
Walking the Political Tightrope in Social Good Communications
Do you know the six types of corporate social initiatives?
Different Types of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
“Finally, Brand Activism!” – Philip Kotler and Christian Sarkar