Brand communications, for good or bad, shape our society and our culture. It’s time for companies to take this responsibility seriously. Yes, we need to get people to buy our products to have a successful business and fuel a thriving economy. But why can’t we challenge our creative minds to do this in a way that benefits society rather than perpetuate negative stereotypes, for example? Leaders who take on this responsibility will need to be brave and be a leader that champions this non-conventional approach.
One way to do this is to create empowering ads with positive messages that encourage positive behaviors. Take these few examples:
- Check out the Under Armour ad with Steph Curry that Justin Bariso acknowledged in his Inc. article as a powerful display of teaching emotional intelligence. The ad suggests that Curry can both accept his wins and losses and pivot to turn that into fuel and energy to take on his next challenge.
- Here’s an ad by BBDO Atlanta for “Baseball for All,” an organization championing girls’ participation in baseball. The ad encourages coaches to get past gender bias and recognize that girls, too, love and can play baseball. It also intends to motivate girls to know that they can do anything and are not limited by their gender.
- DDB New York put its talents towards the creation of an inspiring animated film to champion preservation of global biodiversity. The film, “Dream,” encouraged participation in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, which states this as their cause. Read more on Adweek >
Another way is to increase equality in creative departments, bringing more women’s voices into the creative world. With women representing 85 percent of all consumer purchases, should it really be men determining how to communicate with her? Today women only make up 11 percent of creative leaders in the ad industry. Just five years ago when Kat Gordon started the 3% Conference that number was 3 percent, hence the name of the conference. Angela Johnson, Worldwide Managing Director at Ogilvy & Mather shares suggestions in this guest post on brandchannel on what actions can be taken to shift this statistic by hiring, promoting, and retaining women in ad creative fields.
Finally, consider the role of your brand in this world of disgust and dysfunction. Read my article on LinkedIn where I talk about:
- Building your brand and business with purpose.
- Using your voice and setting a different tone.
- Taking action and leveraging your platform.
- Inspiring with motivations, not expectations.
The Brand Forecast: Help me be relevant to today’s consumers by taking the high road and accepting our role and responsibility to society and our culture.