In today’s world, it is often easy to forget how much social and political influence can be made from a single campaign or ad. Considering how many people around the globe are regularly exposed to a multitude of advertisements, marketing can mean so much more than simply promoting businesses and profits.
As the current 2018 FIFA World Cup plays on into the final rounds, one influential campaign in particular stands out from the crowd. Among the many other extraordinary winners of the 2018 Cannes Lions Awards, “Soccer Song for Change” from Ogilvy Cape Town was created to raise awareness and to halt the horrifically high rates of domestic violence in South Africa. This rate is already five times greater than the global average, but this violence is significantly heightened after one of the country’s soccer team loses a match, especially if fans have consumed alcohol.
As the top beer brand in South Africa, AB InBev’s Carling Black Label took it upon themselves to become the biggest advocate against alcohol-related violence. They targeted the audience of the country’s largest soccer event of the year by inviting an all-female choir to sing the national football anthem and change the lyrics, highlighting the issue of abuse. Because of their unique approach, they reached a greater audience and gained more attention than the 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, with a reach of more than 45 million.
The beverage brand also printed the phrase ‘No Excuse’ on each beer can to directly put the campaign into the hands of its target audience. Following the release of these cans, brand recognition boosted by 823%. Their influence was so widespread that the South African government formed a special parliament to monitor the issue, and the campaign has continued to spread to multiple other countries. It’s no wonder why they walked away with seven awards total, including the Grand Prix for Radio and Audio. Of course, winning awards was not their motivation for creating the campaign — their goal was to create social change.
Today more than ever, it is possible for brands and their marketing teams to make significant, positive impact in homes, communities, and countries by tapping into truths that both expose human failings and celebrate our best values. The ‘No Excuse’ campaign is only one example of this. Almost half of the winners from the Cannes Lions Awards were focused on advancing positive social and political change. Imagine if all of the winners had these motives, either direct or indirect, in their campaigns. Imagine if the major brands we consume daily followed this example as well. Imagine how much the world could change.
Take a moment out of your day to watch the moving campaign video shown at Cannes Lions 2018.
July 10, 2018
Written by Tom Sullivan
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