This week, business executives, nonprofit leaders, government officials and issue advocates met in National Harbor, Maryland for the annual 3BL Forum (formerly Commit!Forum). The theme of the conference was again “Brands Taking Stands;” yet this year, companies unpacked if, when and how they take stands so others in the audience could learn from leaders in the field. CEO Shana Deane kicked off this year’s conference by commending the nerve and grit of brands willing to speak up for divisive issues, and how taking a stand has reached new levels.
More than one-out-of-five students in the U.S. reports being bullied, making it a prevalent topic for educators and parents. And, over the past few years, organizations and brands have joined the conversation – creating hashtags, emojis and even hidden camera stunts – to bring awareness to the issue. Now, Ikea is joining the ranks with a simple, tangible activation that demonstrates the negative effects of bullying.
May 3 was World Press Freedom Day, first proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in December 1993 to raise awareness of the importance of a free press and to remind governments of their duty to uphold the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Influencer marketing has become a hot trend in social media. And with more than 800 million active users on Instagram, influencers can truly amplify a message and deliver real results for brands, especially amongst social media savvy Gen Z and Millennial audiences. Leveraging the popular platform, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched a simple, eye-opening campaign to showcase the effects of environmental destruction.
In early March, educators, administrators, decision-makers and corporate representatives descended upon Austin, Texas for the eight annual SXSW EDU conference to discuss the current state of education, uncover gaps in the system and identify opportunities to solve some of its most pressing challenges.
Brandon Graham’s strip-sack late in Super Bowl LII wasn’t the only fumble during the game, as advertisers failed to take advantage of a massive audience to bring awareness to key issues and reinforce authentic advocacy. Instead, they played it safe, largely avoiding politics and purpose in favor of humor.
Last week, in response to President Trump’s decision to scale back Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, outdoor retail brand and sustainability leader Patagonia in turn announced it would be suing the President, a definitively bold move — even for the likes of the brand that brought us “Don’t Buy This Jacket” and “100% for the Planet.”
You can’t talk about Halloween without mentioning all the sugary sweets and indulgent, calorie-rich treats that come with it. Today, however, more and more consumers realize it’s not just cavities or a growing waistline to consider when eating chocolate and candy. Retail-driven holidays like Halloween are a great time to think about the products we purchase – and the impact they make; not just in our own lives, but to the environment and the people who produce them.
Last week, more than 21,000 marketing, sales and communications professionals from around the world gathered at Hubspot’s INBOUND 2017 conference in Boston to learn, network and be inspired. And inspired we were.
At a time when most marketers are turning to digital in increasing numbers, creating fun and interactive ads to engage consumers and drive sales, one company chose to go back to basics. Recently, one outdoor brand took to an age-old marketing channel with a disruptive approach – garnering attention while driving behavior change.
Companies have been creating innovative products out of waste for years; and with each material advancement, the envelope is pushed further with more integrated, holistic communications campaigns. However, many of these previous campaigns skirted away from the gritty aspect of waste. Now, one fashion brand is taking a nontraditional approach to creating beauty out of waste.
As summer heats up, many Americans take this time to enjoy the glories of nature by visiting our nation’s vast National Parks system. Yet, those same national treasures are in peril due to proposed National Parks Service budget cuts. As discussions on the topic heat up, many companies are showing their support for the outdoors through campaigns raising money, awareness and attendance at America’s National Parks.
With the complex challenges facing businesses today, it’s not uncommon for them to go beyond company walls in search of real-world solutions. Now, one company is opening its doors to all types of innovators from different walks of life to create a product that meets the needs of a diverse set of consumers.
Companies with an authentic message and actions that back their beliefs have been successful at voicing their values, however companies afraid of offending consumers with a decisive stance, have faced strong criticism from consumers and media. Now, Heineken’s new issues-charged campaign tactfully addresses the current landscape without alienating individuals on either side of divisive issues – using its brand to promote acceptance across the board.
Over the past several years, many brands have addressed the issue of texting while driving – especially among young drivers.
After the monumental success of their #OptOutside campaign, REI is again building a groundswell both inside and outside the company.
At this year’s Jewelry Industry Summit, manufacturers, producers and retailers joined forces to discuss how to advance industry efforts with an eye toward responsible sourcing. Cone had a front seat, with Executive Vice President Lisa Manley taking center stage to talk through the industry’s four biggest areas of opportunity in corporate responsibility.
Companies and other organizations found ways to boldly communicate their commitments to women, building on the already-unstoppable momentum of the day. Here’s a roundup of efforts that caught our eye:
STEM took the spotlight with the release of the “Hidden Figures” film which increased awareness of past gender and racial inequity. The film has not only inspired girls to pursue their interests in STEM but it also encouraged society and companies to address the STEM gender gap that is still present today.