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viral buzz

J.J. Abrams, Disney and Lucasfilm Sweeten Star Wars: Force for Change

Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 21, 2014 12:14 PM

Who wouldn't love to become part of the world of Star Wars? Fans of the hit movie franchise directed by George Lucas now have the chance to be cast in the next J.J. Abrams-helmed installment, while at the same time supporting a pro-social partnership that will help thousands of underprivileged children around the world.

The initiative is called Star Wars: Force for Change, which Lucasfilm owner Disney has already committed $1 million to, and fans can contribute directly through the Omaze platform.

These contributions will support UNICEF's Innovation Labs and other projects, such as portable, solar powered learning kits that will provide underprivileged children access to educational materials, mobile phone application development to help children reunite with their families during emergencies, and a text messaging solution that will provide infant medical test results from clinics in half the time.

With free entry or a donation (strongly encouraged), the chance to be a part of the Star Wars universe becomes real.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

20th Century Fox Builds Social Cred After Filmmaker Uses Ad Budget for Disaster Relief

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2013 03:21 PM

Filmmaker Casey Neistat, of viral video hits such as Nike Fuelband's "Make It Count," was approached by 20th Century Fox to create a promo for the upcoming Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as part of their "Live Your Dream" global campaign promoting the film. 

But Neistat had a different plan. Instead of spending the company's $25,000 budget on a trailer, Neistat asked if he too could 'live his dream' to go to the Philippines to chronicle the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan. “We were completely moved," Bettina Sherick, 20th Century Fox senior VP-international digital strategic marketing, told Ad Age. "That he would forgo making anything on the movie to truly live out his dream to help the typhoon victims, well, to risk sounding corny, it was a true Mitty Moment." 

The budget provided over 10,000 meals to victims, tools to 35 of the worst hit villages, and medicine to local organizations.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Unilever Looks to Shine Goodwill On All with New Sustainability Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 22, 2013 11:33 AM

Unilever’s Project Sunlight wants to make sustainable living commonplace so that today's adults have something to hand down to their children.

The broad campaign, which launched on Nov 20, Universal Children's Day, is wrapped up in a short film by Academy Award winning director Errol Morris, and is propelled by research from the company that supports what many parents already know—that having a child is a life-changing experience. Some nine out of 10 parents say children's natural optimism and enthusiasm inspires them to make the world a better place, while seven out of 10 say their main motivation for wanting to live more sustainably is for their children's future.

The company is encouraging people to commit "acts of sunlight," which will be translated into aid for two million children through partnerships with the World Food Programme, Save the Children, UNICEF, and in the US, Feeding America, with the company donating an additional two million meals to help the 1 in 5 children who face food insecurity every day. So far, via hashtag #brightfuture, over 9.6 million 'acts' have been accounted for. 

“People find it hard to engage with big global issues like climate change,” Marc Mathieu, SVP Marketing, Unilever told brandchannel. “But if we can help people relate 'the big world issues' to the everyday lives of their children and families, we think that people will see the possibilities in the small changes that they can make towards a more sustainable lifestyle.”Continue reading...

health matters

World Toilet Day Seeks to Close the Lid on Billions' Lack of Sustainable Sanitation

Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 07:09 PM

It's World Toilet Day again, but this is no occasion for bathroom humor. Lack of sanitation is one of the biggest scourges in the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines, and it's a broad global problem every day as well. Celebrities ranging from Bill Gates to Matt Damon are tweeting today just to let us know how seriously they take the observance.

The fact is that an estimated 2.5 billion people, or about one in three global denizens, doesn't have access to a toilet or to sustainable sanitation. That means, according to one measure, more people have cell phones than have an adequate toilet. In India, the United Nations said, about 1.1 billion people—about half the population—defecate in the open.Continue reading...

social commerce

Is there Real Worth for Brands Behind Social Currency?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 3, 2013 11:39 AM

While Facebook fans spend more money on brands they've 'liked' than on ones they haven't, is there any real value hidden behind that thumbs-up?

On average, a 'like' is worth $174.17. “Superconsumers,” says a study by Syncapse, have significant power to effect products. "Not only do they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more and are more loyal. The significant and increasing value of a Facebook brand fan affirms past social marketing investment and mandates deeper commitment and accountability in the future."

But while brands navigate the tides of "like-currency," it turns out that the gesture by "slacktivists" doesn't translate into anything significant for social causes. After years of encouraging consumers to click for issues of conscience, UNICEF Sweden is the first major international charity to restate the obvious, pre-'like' era fact: donate money and supplies—not just virtual support.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Uniqlo Turns Earthquake-Honed Relief Platform to Sandy Survivors

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 10, 2012 12:57 PM

When UNIQLO CEO Tadashi Yanai set his sights on the US in 2007, the fast-fashion retailer that combined the back-to-basics approach of American Apparel, the competitive pricing of Old Navy, and the foreign edge of a Zara or H&M, was already "a retail juggernaut in Japan, with 760 stores in six countries, 20,000 employees, and earnings of US$ 3.5 billion in 2004," as we noted.

The Fast Retailing Co.-owned brand, whose name is derived from "unique clothes," is now the leading global Japanese retail holding company (and Yanai its richest citizen), posting global sales of 820 billion yen for its 2011 fiscal year, making it the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company and a true innovator thanks to its Heattech heat-generating fabric.

That innovation is now being turned to help individuals affected by Super Storm Sandy as the northeastern US braces for winter cold. The brand announced today that it has just kicked off United in Warmth to bring about just that. The 10-week program will donate and distribute 100,000 Heattech items to men, women and children and 10,000 Ultra Light Down jackets to adults affected by Sandy through a 10-week volunteer program on Saturdays, holding true to its brand commitment of “changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world.”Continue reading...

sustainability

Unilever Addresses Public Health Crisis With Global Handwashing Day Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2012 04:55 PM

An estimated 3,000 kids die daily, and more than 3.5 million children do not live to the age of five, largely due to diarrhea and pneumonia – both manageable with soap and water. People worldwide wash their hands with water, but far too few use soap, particularly at crucial moments such as after using the toilet, cleaning a child, or before handling food.

In 2008, Unilever, its Lifebuoy soap brand, and Population Services International (PSI) joined forces to declare October 15th Global Handwashing Day. Last year, the public-private partnership produced a PSA starring actress Mandy Moore, among other efforts.

This year's Global Handwashing Day bring a new partnership with the Millennium Villages Project, a joint effort by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the United Nations Development Program. The PSA simply asks for support for an initiative working with 500,000 people in rural villages across ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa as part of a bigger goal to reach one billion people:Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Wear Your Face: Braun Benefits UNICEF with Book of Famous Faces

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2012 02:59 PM

When you manufacture electric razors, you spend a lot of time thinking about the shape of people’s faces and noticing how much the simple construction and care of a face communicates about somebody.

Procter & Gamble’s Braun brand took that notion and created the “Wear your face” campaign, which is now turning into a book that will benefit UNICEF. The book, Wear Your Face: Portraits of Men of Varying Ages, Origin, and Character, was the idea of BBDO Proximity Duesseldorf creative director Olaf Reys, who worked on the Braun campaign for P&G.

Reys teamed up with some of the world’s best-known photographers to capture some of the world’s best-known faces, including George Clooney, Robert de Niro, Mickey Rourke, and Mick Jagger.

“Today the male public image is multifaceted and malleable, presenting a kaleidoscope of diversity and sophistication,” Reys said in a press release. “The work I amassed is a visual documentation of how far society has moved towards a more tolerant interpretation of masculinity – and femininity.”Continue reading...

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