Last week, we shared a story from Art Director Doug Schommer from the inside of the creative concepting that lead to the creation of the 2008 E*Trade Talking Baby spot and a review of our internal exploration of this year’s Super Bowl campaigns, strategies and their integrated nature.
As the dust settles, Beth Crivello-Wagner, vice president of client services at Core Creative, focuses on an important and much-needed element of any marketing strategy.
I couldn’t care less about the Super Bowl if it does not include the Packers. But, of course, I tune in every year to be a part of the festivities and to critique my marketing brethren on All-Advertising’s Eve.
I love watching big brands fight to make a lasting impression on the millions tuning in, and this year had some good battles. Some took a giggle-worthy approach and others tugged at the heartstrings. Some completely missed the mark and others made you stop, think and perhaps even buy. But what I found to be most intriguing was the companies using their airtime to benefit others.
Big brands enlisted their strong voices and deep pockets to give something back – and perhaps obtain a bit of a halo in the process.
The stand out in this category is Bank of America joining forces with U2 and RED to help end AIDS around the world. For one day, if you downloaded U2’s “Invisible” track on iTunes, Bank of America would donate $1 to RED. This is a shining example of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – an age-old strategy smart organizations employ to positively solidify their brand in the mind’s eye of the customer. I am a strong believer in CSR for several reasons, the most important being the beneficiaries. So many non-profit, community and grassroots organizations are in dire need of attention and funds. One of the best ways to gain both are by aligning with strong corporate partners willing to give. In an age where funding is down, corporate support is not only important, it’s necessary. This alignment is a win-win. Awareness and support is gained for those in need and positive emotions are evoked for the corporate partner that extend beyond how people feel about their product or service.
Furthermore, having a strong and well-defined CSR strategy with follow-through opportunities does more than just make a brand look good. It can be the sole differentiation in a highly competitive landscape (“I choose YOU, Company X, because you stand for something”), it helps with recruitment, employee engagement and, of course, leaves a corporate legacy for giving back, not just taking in. This is growing in importance as consumers become more motivated, informed and socially conscious (as well as socially connected).
At Core, we build a platform for brands around say it. live it.™ – the idea that brands truly soar when they align their external position with how it is brought to life internally by employees and partners. CSR takes the proposition one step further, allowing an organization to share brand qualities in a deeper and more impactful way.
As you’re building your company’s plans for the future, how might your brand values manifest in social responsibility?