3 Social Causes Big Brands Backed in 2015 Ads

Eden Ames
American Marketing Association
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Key Takeaways

What? Brands are responding to consumer demand for social good through ads that are breaking stereotypes and claiming ground for social justice causes.

So what? Brands are increasingly infusing their campaigns with social causes to better engage socially-conscious audiences.

Now what? In order to truly gain and maintain consumer attention, brands implementing advocacy must align to causes that make sense for them and demonstrate a trustworthy commitment.

Social causes have become a more integral component of branding as companies look to attract and maintain customers, especially in the millennial demographic.

With Nielsen showing 55% of surveyed consumers willing to pay more for products from cause-supporting brands, companies are incorporating advocacy for pro-social issues like gender equality, same-sex marriage and shifting gender identities. 

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According to Mashable, major agencies like Los Angeles-based 72andSunny have launched internal teams with the sole purpose of matching and maintaining brand image to social good. "The shift now is that it's less about getting credit for the good and making veneer-deep associations with a cause and more about doing fewer, deeper things that resonate with your customers more," said Jim Moriarty to Mashable, who heads up 72andSunny's brand citizenship team.

Here are three examples of social causes big brands advocated in their campaigns from 2015:

1. Same-Sex Equality

Campbell’s Soup #RealRealLife

The ad depicts two dads taking turns to feed their son with the notorious Star Wars line “I am your father.” Apart from promoting Campbell’s Soup, the ad successfully depicts a same-sex family in the same positive manner it would a heterosexual family.

Wells Fargo “Learning Sign Language”

In the above ad, a lesbian couple learn sign language in preparation to adopt a little girl who cannot hear. Like the Campbell’s spot, this ad shows how marketers and advertisers are adjusting to the fact that that same-sex marriage is commonplace.

Nordstrom “The Homecoming”

In another example of same-sex marriage advocacy, a man returns home to his dog and his partner for the holidays.

2. Gender Equality

Always “Unstoppable”

In this ad, Always invites women to knock down the social limitations placed on gender. Using hastag #LikeaGirl, the ad tells women that they can be unstoppable.

Barbie “Imagine the Possibilities”

An ad from Barbie received positive acclaim for encouraging young girls to take the role of professors, doctors and businesswomen. The ad is in stark contrast to previous controversial spots where the dolls were programmed to say things like “Math is hard!”

Ram Trucks “Courage is Already Inside”

Ram Trucks features a montage of women breaking personal boundaries and social stereotypes, effectively engaging in the debate over gender equality.

3. Gender Identity

City Gym “The Story of Jacob”

In this ad, men who transitioned from the female gender are featured in their journey to become who they always wanted to be as they take part in a City Gym group.

Magnum “True to Your Pleasure”

An ad for the ice cream manufacturer, Magnum, features glamour shots of transgender men enjoying Magnum ice cream bars to a haunting cover of Rhianna’s “Umbrella”.

Read the original story on Mashable.

Author Bio:

Eden Ames
Eden Ames is a digital content producer for the American Marketing Association. She may be reached at eames@ama.org
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