Marketing campaigns that shaped society

The ability to make a difference and job satisfaction are so closely linked, most people will not remain in a role unless they feel as if they have a sense of purpose. Those in marketing jobs are no different. In fact, marketing can be the most powerful tool of all to help bring positive change to society. Here are five creative campaigns that have shaped society we simply can’t resist mentally high-fiving:

Pedigree, Brings It Back – 2019

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. One of the best ways to help alleviate symptoms of depression? Pets. Take dogs for example. Numerous studies have shown that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and improve all-around health. Pet food supplier Pedigree knows that and decided to spread the word with its “Brings it back” campaign, a beautiful animated short.

The marketing campaign also included a line of fetch toys emblazoned with the words “love”, “happiness”, “hope” and “life”. These were sent out to people who had recently been through difficult times. The sentimental campaign aimed to raise awareness of mental health while encouraging the adoption of dogs from rescue centres. 

Dove, Evolution – 2006

Dove really made their mark in society with a double dose of viral marketing campaigns. Ten years after its Real Beauty campaign aimed to change the way we think about body image, the personal care brand rolled out its Evolution campaign which illustrated the way Photoshop and other digital editing tools derail our perceptions of beauty. This sparked serious discussions about the media and their responsibility to readers.

Dove is recognised for its ability to create campaigns that go viral, doing so before going viral was even a goal. They don’t piggyback on causes; they create them and effectively shape society in a positive way.­ More recently, Dove hired a criminal sketch artist to draw women based on their account of what they thought they looked like. The results didn’t just shock participants; they made a widespread comment about women’s self esteem.

Corona, Pay With Plastic – 2019

There’s no escaping the fact that ecosystems around the world are under intense strain from climate change, sea level rise, deforestation and pollution. Our oceans are one such ecosystem that is critically at risk. One of the problems affecting the health of our seas is plastic pollution. Mexican beer brand Corona teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to help tackle this in a unique way.

By placing recycling machines in locations across Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Colombia and Italy, users could get a limited edition pack of beer in exchange for plastic bottles which would then be responsibly recycled. With every purchase, Corona and Parley committed to cleaning one square metre of local beach and also encouraged their customers to sign up for beach cleanup activities over the summer season.

Ikea, Motivational Mirror – 2014

Swedish furniture and homeware giant IKEA has long been known for its branding which goes far beyond its distinguished blue and yellow logo. Championing the IKEA way of life, the brand promotes homes where ‘togetherness’ is the ultimate aim. They also aim to support wellbeing in the home, and underlined these values with their motivational mirror campaign in 2014. 

After research revealed that two-thirds of Brits struggle with image insecurity and self-esteem issues, IKEA introduced a digital mirror which gave personalised motivational compliments to shoppers at its Wembley store in London. IKEA restored morale and in doing so reinvented the mirror by transforming its effect. This campaign reinforced positive feelings towards their products and interacted with consumers in a constructive way.­

Nestle Fitness, #CheckYourSelfie – 2014

In 2014, Nestle Fitness created a social experiment which captured and recorded the number of times people ‘check out’ a woman’s breasts during an average day in London. The #CheckYourSelfie campaign, created in partnership with Keep A Breast foundation, aimed to encourage women to check themselves for breast cancer – the premise being that you may be surprised how often people check out your boobs, but how often do you check yourself? 

 

The most alluring part of marketing is the breadth of creativity that can be implemented and the difference one can make. To make your work count in society, work for a company that will realise the potential in your ideas.­

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