Posts tagged #brand mission

RADvertising: Qantas x UNICEF "Change for Good"

On a recent flight to Melbourne I passed by the large bin holding headphones you could take onboard to use on the flight.  Wrapped around the headphones is an envelop for UNICEF in which you can provide any pocket change after your flight.   This got me wondering:  Does anybody ACTUALLY do this?  Is this actually an effective and RAD way to do advertising, albeit a fairly old school and analog approach?

The answer is apparently YES:  According to UNICEF, since the program began in 1991, over $31 million dollars have been raised, that's about $1.25 million per year on average.  Considering 5 cents gives a child clean drinking water for 2 days, and $1.50 can protect 5 kids from disease, that money can go a long way.  

The UNICEF brand has been around for a long time - and I always associate it with doing good on a big scale, similar to a Red Cross.  But I've never been really clear on what it actually does.  Turns out it stands for United Nations Children's Fund.  From the site:

The United Nations Children’s Fund, formerly the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was established on December 11, 1946, by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China.

In 1950, its mandate was broadened to include the long-term needs of children in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund. It retained its original acronym.

Here's a list of the other corporate partners - and hey perhaps you work on a brand that would want to be added to the list?  With the state of the world as it is, seems the need has never been greater.  

Although at the time I didn't donate (I bring my own headphones), learning more about UNICEF has inspired me to do so next time - that spare change in my wallet only weighs me down as I'm travelling and could be put to much better use through UNICEF.   My only recommendation to them would be to switch it up a bit and get people like me who are on auto-pilot and don't know much about the organisation to take a fresh look at what they've accomplished.  

RADvertising: 3 brands that get benevolence

First off, I’m going to be totally honest: I didn’t come up with the idea of benevolent brands – it’s been around the past few years.  Even worse, I had to google “define benevolent” to even understand what the word benevolent even meant at first!  I’ve since discovered that I’m not the only one, so for those of you who suck at Scrabble too, here you go:

Benevolent (adjective):  “well-meaning and kindly” and “an organization serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose.

In the past month there’s been a surge in brands doing cool, benevolent things that take them beyond their core categories (cars, dog food, vodka) – and into an adjacent space that might not make them rich, but certainly make their brand proposition stronger. 

The one you’ve probably seen mentioned the most is Volvo’s “LifePaint.”  The boxy family car that’s synonymous with “safety” has deepened its commitment to safety by creating a spray that can be used on bikes, backpacks and clothing so they become reflective at night (but look no different in daylight).  Apparently the bike shops that sell it are receiving hundreds of phone calls a day about it.  Whilst Volvo isn’t in the bike business, it is in the business of safe driving and this initiative has got people talking about the brand again.

Similarly, dog food Pedigree has launched Pedigree Found – an app that lets dog owners notify if their pet has gone missing, and in conjunction, Google Display Network will post a picture of the dog to people within a 2.5km radius of the owner – acting almost like a digital “Missing Dog” poster. So far it's only in New Zealand (and so far it only applies to missing dogs... what about us crazy cat ladies?!?!) 

And last, Absolut Vodka is elevating its 30-year connection to the art world with Absolut Art – an initiative that helps regular folks like us (I assume you’re not a high end art collector either) discover and purchase artworks from rising talent around the world.  First stop: Stockholm (of course).  It demonstrates that their commitment to artistry and creativity isn’t just lip service – it’s part of who they are as a brand.

Based on my own newsfeed of friends’ posts, the social media currency of these benevolent initiatives seems strong – and I imagine they have a good deal of PR value as well.  The beauty is they manage to strengthen the brand without resorting to traditional forms of advertising… and do some good for the world at the same time.

What do you think… Is it all hippy-dippy feel good stuff with little reach and impact?  Or something every brand needs to be investigating?  

Rosetta Stone - create a smaller world

I'm headed to Mexico in January and unfortunately in high school took French instead of Spanish (mostly because a best friend of mine took French - always a good reason for picking your classes).  But I'd like to have basic transaction-level Spanish speaking skills by the time I go - you know, enough to order a beer and express that I'm vegetarian.   

I stumbled across this recent ad from language learning software Rosetta Stone - the only brand name of language software I could name without prompting.  Famous for their yellow boxes sold at kiosks in shopping malls - they've created a piece of RADvertising that lifts the brand from being a software company to a company on a mission to make the world a smaller place.  It's very touching and with the world being in such a state of fighting and chaos, it feels like a real antidote to our problems.  You're not just learning a new language... you're creating peace, understanding and camaraderie.   

Posted on November 16, 2014 and filed under RADvertising.