YS picks: our top four autumn campaigns for social action
It’s safe to say that this year’s headlines have been somewhat bleak. COP26 has reminded us of the urgency of the climate crisis, the impact of Covid-19 continues, and the safety of women in our society has been continuously questioned. In this uncertain landscape, brands have had to reflect on their messaging, with many opting to use their platform to change perceptions and stimulate change.
Below are just a few snippets of the innovative marketing campaigns that have been driving change this autumn – and we think they’re well deserving of a shoutout. From simple yet triumphant poster campaigns, to video marketing and trending hashtags, our pick of the top four autumn campaigns for good will have you covered in goosebumps, if not shedding a few tears. And most importantly, they showcase how brands can effectively leverage their voice to encourage action on social causes that their audiences resonate with.
Quadrature Climate Foundation: The world is looking to you, COP26
We first have to give a mention to the Quadrature Climate Foundation for targeting their powerful poster campaign at delegates who attended the COP26 summit in Glasgow. Pasted on the walls of transport hubs across the country, the stripped back, impactful posters capture the realities of the climate crisis as felt by individuals across the globe.
The genius behind the campaign was marketing agency Iris, labeling the movement ‘the world is looking to you, COP26’. Iris commissioned the stark imagery to be captured by photographers who were local to the scene of each shoot, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the project and really make the campaign hit home. And with QR codes added to each poster, audiences can delve into the stories behind each image, bringing much needed attention to the urgency of the climate crisis.
The Good Organisation: #SeeThingsDifferently Invisible York
One of the most devastating impacts of Covid-19 was the increase in homelessness, with over 130,000 UK households made homeless in the first year of the pandemic. Too often, a blind eye is turned to those experiencing homelessness, but The Good Organisation in York have been helping to turn this around and raise awareness of the issue through an attention-grabbing out of home campaign.
By placing posters on pavements, street corners and other sites frequented by rough sleepers, the campaign brings forth the harsh realities of homelessness. Seemingly misplaced at first glance, the posters use the element of surprise and immediately draw the eye because of their unusual locations.
The direct, bold copy includes ‘If this were a homeless person, then most people wouldn’t even look down’, making room for some self reflection that evokes a true emotional response from the target audience – and once again, the simplicity of this social campaign allows the cause to speak volumes for itself.
Police Scotland: #dontbethatguy campaign
It’s sadly a very scary time to be a woman right now, and instead of directly addressing the social factors that have led to a lack of safety amongst women – such as poor male education on the severity of sexual harassment and abuse – the media is often too quick to deliberate what women are doing wrong.
But, Police Scotland are flipping this heavily flawed diaspora on its head with their #DontBeThatGuy social media campaign, aiming to educate men on false senses of sexual entitlement. Since early October, the powerful campaign has started a number of honest and up-front conversations that are vital to creating a society women can feel safe in, spreading these important teachings across social channels using the #DontBeThatGuy hashtag.
This campaign is certainly one that has restored our faith, initiating social change through education and ensuring that ‘the blame game’ is something women will never have to play again.
Take a further look at their campaign on Twitter.
CoppaFeel: Know Yourself
Our final pick goes out to CoppaFeel for their incredibly moving ‘Know Yourself’ campaign that raises awareness for breast cancer amongst young people. Their video campaign gets up close and personal by capturing the intimacy of young adults tuning into their bodies through physical touch.
Not only does it promote a whole lot of body positivity, the movement shows the importance of understanding every inch of yourself in order to spot changes as soon as they show up, improving chances of early detection of breast cancer.
Once again, the simplicity of the stripped back campaign sends a direct message to its audience, making a real emotional impact on the viewer that will ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of a common illness that has impacted many lives.
Take a look at their campaign and find out more about CoppaFeel.
Well, there we have it, our top marketing campaigns that have made a stand this autumn. There is ample insight to take from each of these campaigns, but the overarching lesson? Simplicity is key when it comes to evoking an emotional response from your target audience.
From climate change to health concerns, these issues have affected everyone in one way or another – and the brands that choose to make a stand and focus time on connecting with their audience, not purely selling, will be remembered for their values, becoming trusted amongst consumers.
If you’re a growing business looking to use your next marketing campaign as a force for good, we’d love to help.