3 Brands That Took on Social Issues in the Best Way

By Devon Cameron, Integrated Marketing Strategist

In our most recent Content Co-Op meeting, our team discussed some brands that are raising the bar and taking on social issues, especially in today’s climate where consumers are turning more to their favorite brands to take a stand. The following campaigns are a few of the highlights:

Billie’s “Project Body Hair”

Believe it or not, up until 2018, if you’ve ever seen a commercial for women’s razors, you’ve never actually seen body hair featured. Yeah, you read that right. The razor commercials we’ve all seen feature waterfalls and tropical flowers and perfectly hairless women running a razor up their legs. Let that sink in.

Billie decided that was a little counterintuitive, considering women have body hair too (which is why they, you know, purchase razors), and they launched their Project Body Hair campaign in 2018 where they featured body hair on women for the very first time. In the commercial, they actually don’t mention a thing about razors or their alternative products for women who don’t shave. Instead, they encourage body positivity and emphasize that shaving is a choice. Because let’s be honest, no one sane enjoys shaving their legs as much as the women in those razor commercials.

Dove’s “Dear Future Dads”

Maternity leave is a commonly talked about issue in the US. However, paternity leave is another issue that doesn’t get discussed enough. Paternity leave in the US is even more limited and considered to be bonus time off, rather than a necessary part of becoming a new parent. Dove decided to talk about the role dads play in their kids’ lives from the moment they come into the world by having dads talk about time off and how the experience of having kids changed their outlook.

The ad is moving and certainly tugs on the heartstrings (at least it does on our team), but it’s even more powerful because it comes with a pledge designed to make paternity leave the standard for dads across the US. The campaign targets male professionals, business owners, and allies of the policy, which gives people who believe in the cause the opportunity to immediately get involved. That option makes it more likely that people will remain engaged and hopefully make a difference.

Patagonia’s Environmental Activism

Patagonia is well known for its environmental stance, but its environmental activism page is a great extension of that stance. Rather than simply marketing their “1% for the planet” campaign where 1% of sales go to environmental conservation, they provide relevant resources, feature activists, and include information on environmental groups and non-profits. 

This brand came up as an example of a company that walks the walk. Their commitment to environmental awareness and change is a major part of their brand, and this page reflects their dedication to that cause.

We love discussing our favorite marketing campaigns, especially when they relate back to causes we’re passionate about! The content team had a blast presenting our top brand campaigns and throwing around ideas for how some of these campaign concepts would work for our own clients. Even if social activism isn’t part of the plan, audience engagement doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Knowing how people respond to these ads gives us valuable insight into how our strategies need to function in the midst of current events.