Awareness is nice, but it won’t put a roof over anyone's head. The objective of most social marketing is to build awareness about social issues and inspire behavior change. This social marketing campaign for Covenant House, the largest homeless shelter for Canada’s youth, kills two birds with one stone. While it builds awareness, it asks you to do reach your hand into your pocket on the spot. Sure, the March of Dimes has been doing this for decades—asking you to add a change to a point of purchase display. But this was done in a really beautiful and interesting way. I know this won an Obie, and it certainly inspires me of what is possible for outdoor and a simple poster. Have you seen any other interesting social marketing campaigns that inspire behavior change on the spot?
This blog post is #7 in my series, 21 creative social marketing examples.
I have been trying to put out cigarettes for twenty years. No need to send me Chantix, as I am not nor ever was a smoker. But my advertising career began baptism by fire helping our agency pitch the Michigan Department of Community Health. We have done a lot of great anti-smoking creative over the years, so I am an aficionado on the subject. Of course, for years "the truth" campaign has been powerful. I loved crazyworld and how it turns common sense upside down to show just how crazy our government and society is when it comes to big tobacco versus how they regulate other things. So initially, I was going to blog about that campaign. To be honest, I wasn’t as big of fan of the new truth tv spots, which are very focused on the big tobacco executives. But as I delved into the microsite, I learned the TV was the result of an elaborate social experiment, where they had a fake job recruiter interview real candidates. Of course, when they learn part of their job is killing 17% of the world’s population, pleading the 5th and poisoning their customers, they are not so into the job. Brutal truth but also very informative and entertaining. And if you do smoke, try Chantix. It worked for my brother who smoked a pack a day since junior high.
This blog post is #6 in my series, 21 creative social marketing campaigns.
Long before the world wide web, there have been interactive ads. I remember the Big Mac campaign that had me recite “2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese, pickle, onions on a sesame seed bun” first to our Magnavox then to my friends. Any ad can be interactive when it truly involves you and pulls you in to experience it. And for social marketing, involving other human beings to participate and get into what you’re talking about can be a powerful thing. This campaign below for the Children and Adolescent Reference Center, is a powerful use of the magazine medium. It asks you to turn out the light, and reveals what happens in the dark. Pretty brilliant using glow in the dark ink to communicate a pedophilia message. If this boogey man freaks you out, imagine how a child would feel. Have you seen any cool ads that are interactive without being on a computer screen?
COPY: Turn off the lights and help Annie overcome her fear of the dark. Pedophilia. You might not see it, but it could be happening. 70% of child abuse cases take place in their own home. This blog post is #4 in my series of 21 creative social marketing examples.
What do Denzel Washington, John Cougar Mellencamp, Queen Latifah and Bill Clinton have in common? They are all alumni of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). All kids wonder what they want to be when they grow up, this advocacy campaign for the BGCA calls kids to BE GREAT in whatever they do. And calls America to help these kids BE GREAT. The American Dream is that you can be whoever you want to be no matter where you come from. This inspiring campaign gives living proof of what is possible for those who dare to dream and believe in themselves. It is a simple concept, masterfully executed, using the power of words and truth.
This blog post is #4 in my series of 21 creative social marketing examples.
They say a stroke is a silent killer. When actually, it can announce itself quite audibly by kicking you in the head, pulling your legs out from under you, messing with your mind, and muffling your cries for help, before it strikes. There are signs. It’s just most of us are not listening. In fact, reports say 84% of people don’t know all five of the warning signs of a stroke and to call 911 immediately. Last year, our agency worked on a campaign for the North Carolina Department of Human Services to build awareness of the five warning signs. While I do believe our award-winning spots Game Show and Paramedic Mind Reader are a strong example of creative social marketing, I thought I would be unbiased and single out the Ad Council campaign for the American Stroke Association. I think it really emotionally connects with how a lot of us feel. We may feel something is wrong with us, but often we shake it off and ignore it. We hope it just goes away. God forbid, we postpone our 2:00 meeting to avoid meeting our maker! Warning signs shouldn’t be ignored. This is a creative and humorous way to put it all in perspective.
In the United States, we live in a bubble. The true extent our world goes beyond our own four walls is probably the size of our Facebook account. Even with globalization, we sometimes are unaware, or perhaps to be honest we don’t want to think about the human rights issues that need our attention around the world. This award-winning campaign for Amnesty International was created by a Zurich-based ad agency. It uses transparent outdoor boards to put us into real situations that are going on in Sudan, Iraq, China and other countries. And poses this statement: “It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now.” I love how it forces us to imagine how horrifying it would be if it were happening here. And ashamed and outraged that is happening anywhere. Great social marketing changes behavior. Instead of being ignorant of these human rights issues, our minds and heart can open and we can learn more and see how to help do something about it. Even if it’s just writing a blog, spreading the word and building more awareness.
This blog is #2 in the series, 21 examples of creative social marketing.
We used to tell teens to “just say no”. It was defense. Now, with this campaign, The Partnership for Drug Free America is making staying drug-free really cool, empowering and inspiring. This campaign is so right on. I’ve seen many of the spots over the years on TV and the whole collection is online. These are my favorites...
Above the influence has a facebook fan page with 17,855 fans. And the web site is rich with sections on…
- Games, like thumb wrestling, word play and sketchpads
- Wallpapers and buddy icons
- Drug facts
- Get help/ask a doctor
- Conversation starters
- Mobile expressions—so you can inspire others with videos, podcasts, photos and words from your phone
- And, of course, links to the great creative
I am sharing the link with my teenage daughters. Hopefully, they will have fun while being under the influence of above the influence.
What do you think? Do you think a great social marketing campaign can really help teens overpower peer pressure?
This is the #1 in my blog series 21 creative social marketing campaigns.
While home with the flu this past week, I started looking online to see if there was anything I could do to speed up my recovery process. It's amazing how much information there is about the flu and the H1N1 virus.
There are kids pages, with videos from Elmo talking about proper hand washing (I can't seem to get the song out of my head either). There are PSA's, websites dedicated to educating and preventing the spread of the flu. There is even a social media campaign that the US Department of Health & Human Services launched.
They are asking for the public to develop a PSA that talks about preventing or dealing with the flu. All someone has to do it post a response to their YouTube video and they could win $2,500. Just thought it was a clever way to get all of us to think about flu prevention (not to mention a great way to use social media for their cause). It’s even been mentioned on some high-profile blog-posts including the White house and has been tweeted about by biggies including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
This is my favorite one so far....
Maybe we should take a stab at it? Any creative ideas? Or perhaps you want to win the $2,500. Contest ends August 17th, so you better get moving.
I love finding brilliant advertising creative that makes me wish I thought of it. And I especially love it, when it’s for a client that’s trying to make the world a better place. That’s what social marketing is all about. And because it’s only “sell” is to try to get us to change our behaviors or attitudes about something, it can be powerful when done well.
In this blog series, I will write about 21 creative social marketing campaigns I admire. If you have any favorite campaigns to add to this list, leave me a comment and link, and I will check it out.
- Above the Influence
- Amnesty International
- American Stroke Association
- Boys and Girls Club
- Children’s and Adolescents Reference Center
- the truth
- Covenant House
- Invent Now
- Land Transport New Zealand
- Looking Glass Foundation
- My Sister’s Place
- Nike Foundation
- Parkinson’s Society Canada
- Partnership for a Drug-free America
- obesity prevention
- stop land mines
- Michigan Department of Community Health
- World Wildlife Fund
- United Nations Campaign
- United Way
If you’re not sure what’s the difference between social marketing and social media, check out my post on that subject.
I was about to do a blog series on social marketing. But then I realized a lot of people online are confusing it with social media. Social marketing is marketing that builds awareness about a social issue and works to change people’s behaviors or attitudes for the public good. Like wear a condom, don’t smoke, get a mammogram, recycle and save the endangered bats.
With the advent of social media, a lot of people are misusing a phrase that has been around for decades. Social media is conversation between people and consumers and brands through blogs, social networks like Facebook and Twitter etc. Social media marketing uses these interactive social platforms to build their brands and consumer fan base.
While Cause Marketing, is where for-profit corporations team up with non-profit corporations and create a win-win for both to build business and raise money and awareness.
So while social marketing can use social media as a tactic, social media and social marketing refer to two very different things. And while social marketing and cause marketing are similar and both raise awareness, the former is about changing behaviors, the latter is about partnering to raise money for the cause and the corporate partner.
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, I can start my series on my top 20 social marketing creative campaigns. To be continued…