There are plenty of brands out there jumping on the brand activism bandwagon – especially given the recent stat by Unilever claiming 33% of consumers are choosing to buy from brands that are doing social or environmental good. With purpose driven marketing seemingly everywhere, brands are working harder than ever to catch our attention and show sincerity in their campaigns.
From social media black-outs to unboxing takeovers, here are three brands that made us look twice this month:
1. Whole Foods’ Social Media Black-Out
Whole Foods confused its followers this week when the retailer mysteriously deleted its robust archive of Instagram images. In its place, they simply featured several blank, white posts and changed their bio to the bee emoji. The account only followed a handful of celebrities – Beyonce, Cardi B, and Sting.
Some concluded that the account had been hacked, while others hoped a Beyonce x Whole Foods collaboration was in the works. Many, however, quickly connected the dots and surmised that the takeover had something to do with state of bees in the environment.
On Tuesday, Whole Foods announced that the social media campaign was indeed intended to raise awareness of the endangered creatures in our ecosystem. Without bees there would be no produce, and with no produce, there would be no Whole Foods.
2. Corona Make Waves
To mark World Oceans Day, Corona and Parley constructed a sculpture of a crashing wave from plastic collected in the UK.
The installation, designed by artist Andy Billett, depicts Chris Hemsworth surfing the wave of waste. In the run up to World Oceans Day, members of the public were invited to contribute to it by dropping off their own plastic waste at the site. Corona are also selling a Hawaiian shirt on its website which features threads made from marine plastic pollution.
“As a brand that is synonymous with the beach, we are seeing the destruction of shorelines and oceans up close,” says Felipe Ambra, Global VP of Corona. “Our ads usually showcase paradise the way we assume it to be, pristine and beautiful, but today it’s increasingly hard to find a beach without plastic. Through our work with Parley, we hope to reverse this trend. This World Oceans Day, Corona wants to remind the world that we all need to protect our beaches to continue enjoying them.”
Installations like the Old Street one will also be appearing in Melbourne, Santiago, Bogota, Santo Domingo and Lima - all made from plastic collected from local beaches. The London installation includes plastic collected by The Marine Conservation Society from Holywell beach, East Sussex.
3. Unboxing The Truth Behind Modern Slavery
Known for unveiling the latest sneakers from Adidas and Nike on his YouTube channel, American vlogger, Jacques Slade, has unboxed a pair of trainers with a twist - they highlight modern slavery.
The price tag of $90 reflects the cost of a slave today with the ‘40M’ logo drawing attention to the estimated 40 million people trapped in slavery. The insoles feature pictures of sweatshops where forced labour is still considered to be rife.
The campaign was created by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, aiming to raise awareness of the hidden human cost of clothing among millennials, as the issue of ethical fashion increasingly influences how young people shop.
Slade unpacks products for his 850,000 subscribers on YouTube; “Being a part of this campaign has made me take a more thoughtful stance on the issues around forced labour. Given the impact we can all make with our voices, I am proud I may be able to help educate and empower those around me to look deeper at their own understanding of the topic and ... inspire them to enact change both locally and globally.”
Infiltrating our YouTube playlists and using the language of unboxing to capture our attention was a clever move – and if best-in-class unboxing videos are meant to be memorable and shareable, then this certainly did the trick.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge then get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org