With the same-sex marriage law officially passed (and one of our wonderful staff members newly wed!) there’s no better time to talk about the companies we like to call Yes! brands.
Pro-social brands are the natural step for companies seeking to engage with consumers on a moral level. Moving beyond claims of sustainability into strong stances on relevant social issues, the pro-social trend increases the demand for ethical behaviour – changing the way organisations and people engage with these ethics.
But to be believed, brands have to be genuine in their support. Having a positioning isn’t enough. These days, you have to take a real position.
B & J are loud and proud partners of The Equality Campaign. Banning the sale of two same flavour scoops until same-sex marriage became legal in Australia, the international ice-cream franchise aimed to rally public support for the movement. In addition to the flavour sanction, the chain also established in-store postal services, helping customers lobby local MPs.
Grounded in the company’s ‘unshakeable belief’ that everyone deserves full and equal civil rights, this movement isn’t the first in Ben & Jerry’s history; they’ve supported politicians with ‘Yes Pe-Can’ and ‘Bernie’s Yearning’ flavours, and drawn attention to global warming through ‘One Sweet Whirled’.
We primarily admire B & J’s efforts for their sincerity. No matter how subtle or overt the movement, the brand always backs its values without falter.
Celebrating women through a campaign that reinforces self-confidence and faith, Under Armour’s I Will What I Want initiative reminds women they don’t need advice, affirmation or permission to be who and what they want.
Fronted by ABT ballerina Misty Copeland – a barrier-shattering role model for many young dancers – the brand pivots from its usual focus on men’s athletic apparel to showcase strong, sporty women. Additional brand ambassadors include Olympic gold medallist Lindsey Vonn, soccer player Kelley O’Hara, tennis star Sloane Stephens, and supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
Rolled out over film, print and a branded digital hub, the campaign works because it engages the true struggles of successful female athletes and artists – proving a strong will is all you need to smash any barrier society puts in your way.
Lush’s entrenched company policy rejects ‘any raw materials from any company, that test anything on any animals, for any purpose’. Judiciously vetting potential suppliers, the global beauty franchise examines corporate structure, commission and conduct to identify past and present links with animal testing – be they in cosmetics, food, pharmaceuticals, or any other industry.
Recognising the media’s tendency to overlook animal testing, Lush has taken it upon itself to keep this issue in the public spectrum. The corporation’s prolific, live, public demonstration in 2012 was instrumental in the successful ban of selling and marketing all animal tested products in the European Union. Commissioning a performance artist to ‘experience’ the horrific treatment of animals, the protest proved eye opening to many London residents, who signed Lush’s ‘cosmetics testing directive position’ without hesitation.
Though animal testing continues to occur throughout the world, Lush persists in opposing such methods; through a strict company practice, proven non-animal testing methods (three-dimensional human skin models, for example) and the Lush prize – a £250,000 fund dedicated to alternative testing projects in science, training, lobbying, public awareness and research.
Nike’s sustained history of fighting for racial, disability and LGBTQ rights is testament to its social conscience as a brand. Following the announcement of President Trump’s immigration ban, the company’s CEO immediately released a statement; ‘Regardless of whether or how you worship … everyone’s individual experience is what makes us strong as a whole’.
The EQUALITY campaign encourages consumers to translate ideals of fairness and respect in sport to everyday life. The movement’s motivating anchor is a short film featuring LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant and other high-profile African American athletes. Encouraging people to take action within their communities, the company put its money where its mouth is – donating $5 million to organisations that advance racial equality.
Leading the pack in progressive change, Nike’s stance exemplifies the good brands can do when they truly believe in a cause. In the words of the company itself, ‘if we can be equals here, we can be equals everywhere’.
When brands engage their resources to take authentic, moral stands on issues that matter both to the brand and their users, the results are irrefutably positive. Want proof? Check out some of our other favourites from Australia’s 2017 Yes campaign.
Whether you side with something big, or stand up for something little, all brands are equal in our eyes. If it matters to you, it matters to us – so get in touch today.