Posted by Kristen Van Nest on April 17, 2013 12:20 PM
Last year, Starbucks declared its support of same-sex marriage, which resulted in a boycott by the National Organization for Marriage. The coffee chain hasn't backed down one bit, however, as CEO Howard Schultz continues to blur the line between business and the personal lives of his millions of customers.
At a recent annual shareholders meeting, Tom Strobhar, a shareholder and founder of the Corporate Morality Action Center, an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage organization, suggested the boycott had a negative impact on first quarter sales and earnings. The ever-outspoken CEO swiftly responded, “Not every decision is an economic decision... The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity."
Schultz then told Strobhar he was more than welcome to sell his shares and take his money elsewhere. While the remarks seem brazen, Starbuck’s stance on hot-button political issues and support of equal rights for its employees have been a part of the brand’s long-term strategy to increase internal brand engagement and decrease turnover. What's more, taking a position on causes that affect its workforce has had a positive impact on its bottom line.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 22, 2013 12:26 PM
Somewhere, a world exists where more people have access to smartphones than toilets. Oh, wait. That's us.
Today marks the 20th annual World Water Day, observed on March 22 since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared a global effort to improve access to clean water. Today, hundreds of multinational brands, political figures, celebrities and NGO's are offering up innovative ways to participate.
While Americans are drinking more water than ever before, the rest of the world's water crisis is becoming increasingly pressing, making it to the agenda of the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos. That's when a report ranked water among the top five global factors equal in impact to systemic financial failure and fiscal imbalance, with 2.7 billion people affected by water shortages, compounded by climate change and a global population nearing 8 billion.
Two official meetings—in The Hague, The Netherlands and at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City—are taking place today to facilitate a global conversation on water cooperation, this year's theme, but hundreds of initiatives have launched across the globe in support of the effort.
In keeping with the theme of 2013 being the year of water cooperations, we've found some inspiring examples of the type of public-private partnerships spurring sustainable innovation to address the world's water crisis.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 14, 2013 10:11 AM
In a day where digital design renders face-lifts, tummy-tucks and general tune-ups de rigueur, Dove remains an innovative stand-out as they extend their "Real Beauty" campaign beyond advertising.
33 million women made over advertising that highlighted their insecurities and impacted their self-esteem as part of the Dove Ad Makeover campaign last year, and in honor of International Women's Day, the brand is reprising the campaign and taking it global.
The Dove Ad Makeover invites women to send positive messages to other women through a Facebook application. "Dove has always listened to women and we feel that International Women's Day is the perfect time to once again inspire them by bringing our Ad Makeover Facebook app to America and to 18 countries around the world," said Rob Candelino, VP Unilever Skincare, in a press release.
The Unilever-owned brand is refreshing its long-running, and highly acclaimed "Dove Campaign for Real Beauty"—which fights unrealistic portrayals of women while pushing for realistic, positive ad messaging—with a social media-promoted Photoshop Action that works like a Trojan Horse by leveraging the element of surprise on those responsible for "unreal beauty" images in advertising.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 02:02 PM
LIVESTRONG is still very much alive as it strives to move out from under the enormous shadow cast by its founder, disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.
A new brand refresh involving a new logo and addition of the word “Foundation” was revealed during the State of the Foundation address at the Livestrong Assembly last week in Chicago, expanding the “visual brand to show that the LIVESTRONG ethos—the belief in survivorship—is not abstract. Thousands of people and many critical programs are the “Foundation” beneath that ethos.”
“After its founder Lance Armstrong was publicly revealed to be a cheater, a liar, and a complete and utter d**khead,” comments Mediabistro, “it was hard to believe the LIVESTRONG foundation would survive the fall-out. After all the charity, which aims to provide free cancer support services for those battling the disease, had its brand so tied to Armstrong’s own story that when Armstrong lost all credibility, it seemed like he would take LIVESTRONG down with him.”
The disgraced cyclist had his seven Tour de France victories wiped from the record books, may be stripped of the Legion d'Honneur and faces being deposed in several pending cases which altogether leave him liable for more than $100 million.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 11:10 AM
Women's issues are top of mind, with International Women's Day on March 8th and the the 57th Session the main focus of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women now underway in New York, with about 700 related events taking place March 4-15.
Kicking off CSW, UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet today formally convened the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (follow on Twitter at #CSW57). The recent gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi and the One Billion Rising campaign drew global attention, Bachelet notes: "2012 demonstrated that this [violence] is a terrible reality for many women every day. I'm an optimistic woman and I believe it's clear that we can't continue in the 21st century with this terrible violation of women's human rights."
More than 6,000 UN officials, NGO workers and women's rights activists are expected in New York to debate and create action around the issues, lobbying behind the efforts to counter the work of rightwing groups and countries such as Iran, Russia and the Holy See who are already calling for “removal of key lines of this year's draft document that relate to reproductive health and rights, and those that suggest governments take responsibility for tackling gender violence,” notes the Guardian.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2013 11:02 AM
Matt Damon, looking for a way to “persuade people to give a shit about toilets,” staged a press conference in anticipation of World Water Day, March 22. The actor's latest move pushes the continuing efforts of his non-profit, water.org, which educates people about the lack of basic sanitation and clean water for 2.5 billion people around the world.
At the faux press conference, Damon announced that “in protest of this global tragedy … until everyone has access to clean water, I will not go to the bathroom,” and he’s asking everyone to join him at Strikewithme.org.
The aim of the tongue-in-cheek campaign is serious: to move people to click on a link enabling water.org to "occasionally" use their social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook for six week (because physically relieving yourself is comparable to the mental relief felt after posting a status update?)
Damon—who might consider refreshing the campaign for World Toilet Day—added that “Six billion people have cell phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to improved sanitation.”
"Welcome to the petri-dish," said Mike McCamon, water.org's chief community officer. "The idea is you sign in and give permission to us for a finite period." Content will be generic yet personal, "so it looks like you posted it."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2012 12:11 PM
The two billion people who watched the 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief at New York’s Madison Square on Wednesday night may have tuned in (or streamed) for the chance to see music legends — Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, the Who, Roger Waters, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe, Dave Grohl, Alicia Keys, Eddie Vedder — but the heart of the show was the stories of people whose lives were impacted by Sandy, and who were asking the world to care and help.
As the Los Angeles Times commented, “Critiquing the broadcast of the 12-12-12 Sandy benefit concert on Wednesday night is like assessing the food at a bake sale: Maybe the muffins are oversalted or the cookies are stale, but that's not the point. The point is charity and drawing attention to the cause.”
So kudos to Madison Square Garden (and New York Knicks) owner Cablevision, not to mention Clear Channel, Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, Chase, State Farm and other sponsors and volunteers for putting on a story-driven night of music and social compassion (the #121212concert hashtag is still lively on Twitter) to raise proceeds for the Robin Hood Relief Fund.
And in a similar (if less glitzy) vein, the American Red Cross has some stories it would like to share with you, too.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 12, 2012 10:18 AM
In April, GODIVA Chocolatier launched its Lady Godiva Program, honoring inspirational women on a local and national level who embody the original Lady Godiva’s selflessness, generosity and leadership as seen above.
Every two years, GODIVA selects a National Lady GODIVA Honoree and this year its first recipient is Lauren Bush Lauren, Co-Founder of FEED Projects, whose non-profit has provided over 60 million school meals to children living in 62 countries throughout the world through the United Nationals WFP since the launch.
GODIVA committed to sell one-of-a-kind FEED 10 bags, with each providing 10 school meals to children in cocoa-producing regions, and most recently, launched exclusive limited edition products like the FEED 8 Origins Collection of chocolates, where for each box sold, 8 meals will be donated to children in Ecuador and Uganda.
“The Lady GODIVA Program takes this notion of giving one step further. With the creation of the Lady GODIVA Program, we will honor outstanding women that make a difference both on a national and local level as well as the causes that matter most to women,” says Jim Goldman, President & CEO, GODIVA Chocolatier.Continue reading...