Campaigns with a Conscience - the importance of social awareness

Campaigns with a Conscience – the importance of social awareness

14th September, 2018 by Alice Neusten

As the consumer world seemingly becomes saturated with more brands than ever before, it is harder to produce campaigns that are not only innovative, but also memorable. New research* has found that “only 15% of brand campaigns are recalled after 60 days”, with the most memorable campaigns having a direct impact on an individual’s behaviour.

Meanwhile, a recent shift in attitudes, combined with the rise of social media and greater social awareness, has meant that environmental and social issues are now at the forefront of people’s minds like never before. It means that brands that do not contribute or positively impact on society are being forced to the back of the stage, with those pioneering matters such as the environment, the use of plastics, endangered animals, and LGBTQ+ rights among those taking the limelight.

Although the rise of socially conscious brands has taken a while to gather pace, those that are working towards a better future for all, either through campaigns or partnerships, are reaping the benefits and being remembered by consumers.

Of all the campaigns I can recall from the last two years, the most memorable have had an environmental or social undertone: the Smirnoff pride bottles; GAP’s breast-feeding model; River Island’s Labels are for Clothes campaign, Lacosse’s limited edition endangered animal polo shirt, adidas’ recycled plastic range, Old Mout’s Save the Kiwi campaign, and Corona’s ocean plastic campaign.

It is hard for individuals to have an impact and change the world on their own. We are now relying on socially and environmentally conscience brands to help achieve our goals and ideals. Campaigns from brands that not only raise awareness of issues, but also teach consumers about them (leading to greater understanding and learning about the issue) are ultimately having a direct impact on lives by instigating behavioural change.

For example, as plastic has become a more contentious issue, many people have stopped using plastic straws, and brands which have supported this choice by discontinuing supplying plastic straws have come into favour with consumers. People are choosing bars and restaurants which don’t supply plastic straws, frowning upon those that do.

Together with the exponential growth of brands that are now socially aware, a new trend is growing within the mind of consumers as they become indifferent towards brands who lack a voice on relevant and important issues. As generations across the board are becoming more politically and socially motivated, brands running campaigns without any real substance or goal are being overlooked.

Consumers respect brands and campaigns that stand up for relevant issues. It is not enough to merely have the best product anymore, consumers want to know what your product and brand is doing to help. Consumers remember and want to buy into brands that give back and support causes close to their hearts, contributing and helping lead the way towards a better future.

That’s why  we love working with great brands that have this ethos at their very core. Take our client Alpro, for example, and the world’s first ever ‘Plant Power Day’, which we held earlier this year  to encourage the nation to put plants first for both health and environmental reasons; and our ‘Beyond the Box’ campaign for the Confederation of Papers Industries – a consumer-facing campaign that promotes corrugated cardboard as the sustainable packaging choice for an audience that is increasingly environmentally aware These campaigns allow us to explore new avenues and learn about the evolving world around us, protecting and ensuring a sustainable future.

At Richmond & Towers we embrace this movement, and we want to keep creating innovative, exciting and memorable campaigns, helping brands to stay ahead of the curve. If the best way to do this is through campaigns that help people, animals and the environment in the process, then all the better!

* conducted by Havas