Advertising can have such a powerful effect on society. Advertisers have the ability to spread any message they want, including why what they make is better than their leading competitor’s product. The power of advertising is often used for good, like using it to change perceptions about social issues around the world. Social campaigns can be used for a variety of reasons, such as drawing awareness, promoting a cause or ramping up donations. A lot of social campaigns have a shock value, especially in print, to stop people in their tracks and notice their message amongst the clutter. Here are a few campaigns that successfully raised awareness about global issues.
Ikea is known for its extensive showrooms where customers can see fully furnished rooms for an in depth look at products, as well as for design inspiration. Ikea’s flagship store in Norway partnered up with the Red Cross to bring awareness to customers about the realities of the Syrian crisis. Ikea replicated a residence in Damascus where there were price tags on furniture to serve as donation slips for Syrians living under these horrible conditions. By putting the Syrian-based showroom next to a typical Ikea showroom, it compared the comfort and luxury that we’re used to with those living in poverty in Syria. The campaign raised over 22 million dollars.
The organization LIRCA wanted to bring awareness to the public of how prevalent racism is today in society. Their campaign, “Your Skin Color Shouldn’t Dictate Your Future,” worked to bring awareness of the stereotypes that society places on different races and their future careers. LIRCA dressed up babies of different races in outfits such as a construction worker or a janitor. This bold statement showed that we think of those who belong to a racial minority as destined to take smaller jobs instead of imagining them as executives, as we might for white children.
Liking isn’t Helping.
“The liking isn’t helping” campaign was created for Crisis Relief Singapore to bring awareness and attention to the recent catastrophes (a large flood, war and an earthquake) they faced. The campaign was used to urge people to stop “liking” their page and telling them that their “contribution” would help solve global problems. Instead, it to urged people to take action by donating to causes. Shocking photos were used to show the realities that people had to face and how “likes” wouldn’t change those conditions. This campaign not only was used to bring awareness to Crisis Relief Singapore, but to take the same message and apply it to other charities as well.