Best Global Green Brands 2014

brands with a cause

CSR-Building Opportunities Abound with the Changing Face of Philanthropy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2014 10:39 AM

Philanthropy is being redefined with the rising tides of digital media, allowing the pursuit of greater CSR initiatives and creation of more conscious companies like Participant Media, created in 2004 by eBay co-founder Jeffrey S. Skoll, as an activist entertainment company that produces movies with a message.

Lincoln, and encouraging civic engagement and antifracking film, Promised Land, are two examples of Participant-backed films. To deduce the best way to reach audiences and motivate them to participate, Participant is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Knight Foundation and the USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

To that end, the team has developed the Participant Index, similar to Nielsen TV ratings, that compiles raw audience numbers for issue-driven media and delivers an online survey for up to 350 viewers per project with questions about emotional response and level of engagement. 

On a scale of 100, for instance, The Square, a documentary on political upheaval in Egypt, scored 97 out of 100 for emotional involvement, but only an 87 for provoking action, for a combined average of 92. However, "Farmed and Dangerous," Chipotle’s web series about industrial agriculture, reached 99 on the action scale and 94 for emotion for an average of 97—thus interpreted as having higher impact than The Square.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

One Million Strong: At Warby Parker, CSR and the Bottom Line See Eye to Eye

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 25, 2014 04:38 PM

Warby Parker announced today that it has sold—and distributed—1 million pairs of glasses through its one-for-one model, a mode of conscious retail that has since spread like wildfire after startups like TOMS Shoes and Warby made it mainstream.  

But the brand's CSR-driven business strategy is only one part of its extraordinary success in the retail eyewear market that's dominated by large-scale, big name distributors. Warby instead redesigned the online retail experience to be a seamless bridge between in-store interaction and online convenience, allowing in-home try-ons free of charge and bargain prices for trendy frames. 

"It's sort of those moments that we find just win people over and generate good will, so that they're likely to tell their friends about us," co-founder Neil Blumenthal told Fast Company. "... Our business model is designed to make people happy. Whether it's selling a $500 product for $95 or having a human being answer the phone within six seconds when you call."Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Pro Bono: How the Advertising Community Can Help Nonprofits like (RED)

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 24, 2014 02:49 PM

Celebrity musician and activist extraordinaire Bono took home the inaugural Cannes LionHeart award for his humanitarian work, but not before he called the entire advertising community to action to get behind his nonprofit (RED) organization, which helps fight AIDS. 

Calling the marketing industry the "creative engine of capitalism" and "the world’s thermostat" to tackle problems like AIDS, Bono noted that the majority of the foundation's funding comes from government organizations despite a growing number of consumer product partnerships and events.  

Founded in 2006, Apple was one of (RED)’s earliest supporters, even though many wouldn't know it. Bono joked with Apple's Jony Ive, who presented the award, calling Apple "annoyingly quiet" about its participation in (RED) thanks to Steve Jobs' aversion to including the brand's iconic parentheses on any Apple products or in any Apple stores. Apple has, however, raised $75 million for the cause.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Brazil's Neymar Keeps Goodwill Close to Home with Clean Water Competition

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 23, 2014 02:50 PM

World Cup host nation Brazil will know this afternoon whether or not it will continue to contend for the Cup, but the team (and the tournament's) biggest star, Neymar, is lending his skills off the pitch to a cause that's close to him. 

The all-star's namesake foundation, Neymar Jr. Project Institute, has teamed up with PayPal to launch the Competition for Good that encourages fans to compete to bring clean drinking water to Brazil. Fans can donate money to the cause through July 13 in the name of the 32 national teams that made it into the World Cup in Brazil, with each team representing a different area of the South American country. 

PayPal will donate $3 for Team USA every time someone uses the PayPal app at Eat24 restaurants, Adweek reported. If Neymar scores in today's game against Cameroon, PayPal will match all donations made from that point until the end of the match. Donations were also made via purchases of Neymar-signed apparel and gear in a special auction on eBay.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Apple for the Teacher: Tech Brands Support US ConnectED Schools Plan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 4, 2014 01:56 PM

President Obama has scored some major progress on his ConnectED initiative thanks to a little help from some major brands. The program, which was launched in June, advocates for high-speed internet and education technology in every classroom, as well as training teachers on the benefits of tech in the classroom by 2017. 

The President has challenged the FCC, Federal agencies, Congress, the private sector and communities to rise to the test. As announced today as part of the White House's ConnectED (or #ConnectED) initiative, US companies are answering the call by committing more than $750 million to deliver cutting-edge technologies, devices, free software, teacher professional development, and home wireless connectivity.

“Today, fewer than 30 percent of schools have the broadband they need to teach using today’s technology; under ConnectED, 99 percent of American students will have access to next-generation broadband by 2017. That connectivity will be the bedrock of a transformation in the classroom experience for all students, regardless of income," the White House said in a press release.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...

brands with a cause

Google, Microsoft Team Up to Fight Child Exploitation on the Internet

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 05:54 PM

Following a Canadian sting operation last week that resulted in 348 arrests and over 380 children rescued, Google and Microsoft have teamed up to take substantial steps to block the exploitation of photos and videos containing child pornography on the Internet with modifications to more than 100,000 search terms.

Instead of delivering content associated with child sex abuse, such searches will now trigger a warning that said content is illegal. Content that steps over the boundary will be assigned a unique digital fingerprint that speeds detection and deletion. YouTube has created similar technology to identify videos of the same nature. 

"We've listened, and in the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote. "We've fine-tuned Google search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for developing and sharing its picture detection technology."Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Starbucks Joins Walmart in Military Veteran Hiring Spree

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2013 11:39 AM

Starbucks plans to hire at least 10,000 military veterans and active-duty spouses by 2018 as part of a global expansion plan that calls for 500,000 employees companywide, up from 200,000 today. 

"The more than one million transitioning US veterans and almost one and half million military spouses—with their diverse background and experience—share our mission-driven sensibility and work ethic and can build long-term careers at Starbucks as they return home," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a press release.

In addition, five new and existing US Starbucks cafes on or near military bases will begin donating 10 cents from every transaction, with a minimum annual gift of $100,000, to non-profit organizations that help veterans re-enter the workforce such as Operation GoodJobs and Vested in Vets.Continue reading...

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