With today’s world becoming increasingly socially conscience, companies and brands are turning to a pro-social approach to engage millennials and fuel the conversation revolving around societal issues. Brands are evolving their image by taking a stand on social controversies, a trend that The Guardian says will be “positively explosive” in 2015.
Brands are breaking the mold on social advocacy, a traditional approach that The Guardian explains as a “Look what we’ve done, now buy our stuff” mantra. Instead, brands are now reaching out and asking their consumers to stand with them in their social fights, and to become a part of social movements. This call-to-action technique allows brands to be more engaging, and this urgency for ethical behavior is described as “politically disruptive” and “inspiring.” The focus has ultimately shifted from what companies do internally, to their stance on important societal issues; however, with this shift, brands find themselves under constant scrutiny to practice what they preach, making the pro-social brand difficult to emulate.
Examples of companies that are utilizing this advocacy-tactic include Coca-Cola and Always. Coca-Cola joined the conversation on online-bullying and negativity in the media with its 2015 Super Bowl commercial. Always joined the fight with their #LikeAGirl campaign, which won Adweek’s title of “Best Ad of Super Bowl XLIX.” The campaign promotes feminism with its redefining of the phrase “like a girl.” The advertisement addresses the derogatory connotation of the phrase and encourages society to rethink the offensive expression. With leading brands such as these emphasizing social responsibility and encouraging others to join, the pro-social brand movement continues to ignite conversation and evolve the industry as a whole.
With 2015 being “the year of the pro-social brand,” societal issues and taboos will undoubtedly continue to surface with more and more brands declaring their views. Does a brand’s stance on social issues affect your perspective of their product? Do you think companies are making the right move by stepping in on these conversations? Share your thoughts with us!