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Brands Spin the Wheel to Raise Awareness for Net Neutrality

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 10, 2014 01:27 PM

Today is Internet Slowdown Day, which aims to rally brands and consumers in favor of stronger net neutrality regulations in the US. The FCC is currently considering new legislation that allows cable giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to operate a two-tiered internet: "slow lanes" for most, and "fast lanes" for those willing to pay more.

Net neutrality activists, including major online brands like Google, Netflix, Etsy, Reddit, Mozilla, Kickstarter, Imgur, Foursquare, and Wordpress are protesting the legislation by displaying an infinitely-spinning "site loading" icon, aka the "spinning wheel of death." The online protest is set to run for 24 hours. 

Online brands have been joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Future of Music Coalition, Greenpeace USA, the Harry Potter Alliance, MoveOn, the Sierra Club and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the public protest against a slower internet.Continue reading...

cause marketing

With No Trademark Protection, Ice Bucket Challenge is Open to All

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 05:12 PM

Bill Gates and Jennifer Lopez have done it. Martha Stewart and Donald Trump have, too. Your friends and neighbors have probably shown off their efforts on social media. Perhaps even you have done it.

“It,” of course, is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the viral awareness campaign that has raised over $100 million towards research for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The Challenge, which was briefly the focus of a US Patent and Trademark Office application that has since been pulled, is still going strong on social media channels around the globe, and in turn is inspiring other causes to attempt to adopt viral, "Challenge"-inspired campaigns.Continue reading...

branded content

IKEA: A Brand That Knows How to Connect with Content

Posted by Tori Miner on July 24, 2014 05:06 PM

At its core, the IKEA brand is all about experience. From showrooms to social media, the brand conveys a deep understanding of how people live and a commitment to helping them better their everyday life. Ever the retail innovator, IKEA brings its creativity to life through original content and branded experiences designed to build stronger connections with their consumers around the world.

Its flagship content effort is available online today—its iconic catalog. The 2015 catalog is available in 32 languages, 67 printed editions, and 46 countries and territories, and its most sustainable publication to date. According to a press release, it's the largest print production ever to be printed on 100 percent FSC-certified paper, "from forest to printer."

With the theme of “Where the Everyday Begins and Ends,” the 2015 catalog app for iOS and Android devices includes extended content such as shareable DIY videos, 360° views of entire rooms, and a “Place in Your Room” feature where users can select from over 300 IKEA products and virtually place them in their own homes.Continue reading...

doing good

Reinventing the Toilet, and Feeling Flush with Pride

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 10:28 AM

The forerunner to the modern flush system was patented in 1775 by London watchmaker Alexander Cummings, and ever since, designers and inventors have tried to create a better mousetrap for a basic human activity. But access to a flush toilet divides the globe. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, or two out of every five, don’t have such access.

The need is great (nearly 1.5 million children die each year from food and water tainted with fecal matter) and the category is ripe for innovation, which spurred the Gates Foundation to launch the Reinvent the Toilet challenge in 2011 as part of its commitment to water, sanitation and hygiene.

We recently profiled American Standard CEO Jay Gould, whose company has partnered with the Gates Foundation on Flush for Good, an initiative to improve sanitation and community health in emerging markets.

The Gates fund has helped other such innovations as the Loowatt waterless toilet invented by Virginia Gardiner has raised nearly £2m in funding in total. A biodegradable lining runs around the bowl that pushes waste into a cartridge that gets broken down by microorganisms into biogas and fertilizer. The technology this week had a successful debut at the Latitude Festival in the UK.Continue reading...

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...

corporate citizenship

GLAAD Celebrates Brands Doing it Right This Pride Month (and Beyond)

Posted by Rich Ferraro on June 9, 2014 09:12 PM

We asked Rich Ferraro, who has been tracking and writing about LGBT images in advertising and marketing for the past decade, to share with us some of the most innovative 2014 LGBT Pride campaigns. As Vice President of Communications & Programs at GLAAD, he oversees GLAAD's work to advance LGBT images and stories across media, including advertising, marketing and digital media.

"GLAAD regularly meets with brands and corporates to offer best practices and to advocate for LGBT inclusion both internally and in external marketing efforts," Ferraro told us. "We also track LGBT images in advertising and hold a panel during Advertising Week in New York City each year to discuss trends in LGBT advertising." We're honored to share his thoughts on outstanding brand campaigns this Pride Month and beyond,  and invite you to share your thoughts on the brands you'd nominate in the comments below.

This Pride month, mainstream advertising is coming out of the closet, with visible and innovative LGBT Pride campaigns from a diverse range of brands. Brands have found that it's a smart business decision to stand with LGBT people and the majority of Americans who support our community today. Apparel, travel, tech, and food brands are all displaying their LGBT pride and demonstrating that the industry has moved a long way from the days when LGBT advertising was limited to beer and spirits. 

The LGBT community now expects diverse, innovative marketing efforts that reach mainstream audiences. It's no longer enough for a brand to simply have a float in a Pride Parade. Nine brand campaigns we're GLAAD to see, and why:Continue reading...

branding together

ConAgra, P&G Put Rivalries Aside To Fight Childhood Hunger

Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2014 11:47 AM

ConAgra and Procter & Gamble are setting down the longtime rivalries of the companies and their brands these days for a special campaign aimed at fighting the surprising and stubborn prevalence of childhood hunger in America.

In the Childhood Hunger Ends Here campaign, the CPG giants are joining forces to support a campaign that ConAgra began in 2010 to highlight the problem of the nearly 16 million children who are said to be living in "food-insecure" households in America. The effort will donate up to 7 million meals.

"We can make joint calls on retailers, and that helps retailers look at it as a bigger, more powerful program," Brett Groom, senior vice president for content integration and activation at ConAgra, told the New York Times. "We certainly hope to build this into a multi-year relationship."Continue reading...

campaigns

Spray it Forward: Kenneth Cole Taps Google Glass for Good Deeds Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2014 03:55 PM

Combining wearable tech, a modern "stand-up" guy and a pay-it-forward ethos, Kenneth Cole's "Man Up for Mankind Challenge" asks men to perform a "gentlemanly deed" every day for the next three weeks—21 Days, 21 Deeds—in return for eligibility to win a Mankind toolkit valued at $1,000.

While Diane Von Furstenberg was the first fashion designer to put Google Glass on the runway, as she did during her New York Fashion Week show in 2012, Kenneth Cole is aiming to be Google Glass fashion pioneer of another sort, but featuring the app in a campaign for its new Mankind fragrance. (L'Oreal, meanwhile, is using the device internally, as a teaching tool for its network of stylists.)

Once Kenneth Cole's augmented reality app is downloaded, users of the geek chic wearable computer will receive an alert in their viewfinder with a reminder of that day's deed, such as the gentlemanly “offer to carry a lady’s bag,” “buy a stranger a coffee,” or “donate old clothes to a local shelter.”

They're being encouraged to snap and share photos of themselves in action on a dedicated site and to tweet their deeds during the three-week challenge with the hashtag #manupformankind. Non-Glass wearers can participate using a smartphone or digital camera, too.Continue reading...

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