Here at TRAY, we greatly respect and support socially responsible businesses and organizations. We especially appreciate it when advertising and marketing agencies lend their creative talents to advance social causes… which is why we do it so often ourselves.
Here are some of our favorite print-based cause marketing campaigns from around the globe. They use stunning images and provocative messages to not only inform, but incite viewers to take action.
1. UNICEF: Water Kills
This UNICEF ad (shown above right) conveys the importance of clean water by visually representing the danger of contaminated water in the form of a gun pointed at a child’s head. It includes a memorable tagline (“Bad water kills more children than war”) and a call to action for consumers to donate to their clean water campaign via text message.
2. World Wildlife Fund: Desertification
This campaign, created on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, emphasizes the seriousness of desertification, the process in which fertile land transforms into desert as a result of deforestation, drought or improper agriculture. It cites an alarming statistic—that desertification destroys 6,000 species every year—and includes images of well-known and well-loved species evaporating into sand.
3. LICRA: Your Skin Color Shouldn’t Dictate Your Future
The acronym LICRA stands for the Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme. In English, it’s the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism. This series of ads supports LICRA’s purpose by representing the social stratification faced by many individuals from birth, simply because of their skin color.
4. TopGear Magazine: Driving and Social Media Just Don’t Mix
This ad, created for British automotive magazine TopGear, uses edgy humor (“Paul Johnson just checked in @ the bottom of the river Thames”) to caution against using social media while driving. It’s simple in design, but still effective in its message.
5. Guinness: Delayed Reaction
Here’s another driving-focused campaign, this one from the Guinness brewing company, about the importance of drinking responsibly. This series of ads conveys the message by visually representing exactly how drunk driving can delay reactions on the road.
6. AIDES: AIDS Makes Us Equal
This controversial campaign, created for the French NGO AIDES, raises awareness about AIDS by emphasizing how it can affect anyone—in this case, even superheroes. The use of characters like Wonder Woman and Superman—generally regarded as being invincible—as suffering from the disease is an extremely powerful device.
Which other cause marketing campaigns have made you look at a social issue in a whole new way?