Campaigns for a Cause

Five Things to Help You Think Differently: Issue 13

Posted: Jul 30, 2014

In an effort to help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in communication, technology, and our dynamic world, we wanted to share some resources to help you think differently about the way your organization is communicating, sharing, and inspiring its constituents.

Ad campaigns have the ability to tell stories, touch hearts, and open minds. Over the past few years, nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and crowdfunding sites have used striking visuals to tell stories and influence opinions about the world we live in. In this issue of Five Things, I highlight some of the most powerful ad campaigns that I saw this year. 

1. Stop the Beauty Madness

Faced with edited images of models that make bodies, makeup, hair, and skin look flawless, it’s no wonder that women are prone to body image and self-esteem issues. To counteract this, Robin Rice and Be Who Are Productions, Inc. created a social media campaign called #StopTheBeautyMadness. Using photographs of everyday women, these ads offer positive messages about the notion of beauty, with topics ranging from weight to age to race. Is there anything wrong with the photo above? Absolutely not! 

2. Happily Never After

“When did he stop treating you like a princess?” This is the powerful tagline of artist Saint Hoax’s “Happily Never After” campaign, which brings the issue of domestic violence out into the open. Seeing your favorite Disney princesses battered and bruised is not easy, nor is it meant to be. Hoax’s work demonstrates that domestic violence can happen to anyone—even in a fairy tale. 

3. I am NOT...

For years, the World Wildlife Fund has created powerful visual ad campaigns with a global reach. In the past, the organization’s ad series have brought attention to the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean, the destruction of forests, and the environmental risks of decreasing animal populations. The “I am not…” series speaks out against poaching. It can be easy to separate oneself from the knowledge that a household item came from a living creature; this campaign reminds us what an animal is… and is not.   

4. More Than a Cover Story

In America, there are so many magazines targeted at women: Vogue, Glamour, Seventeen, and Good Housekeeping, to name a few. The readers of those publications live in a very different reality than the women who are threatened by child marriage, lack of education, sex trafficking, and more. Aiming to make girls’ and women’s rights “more than just a cover story,” Catapult, a crowdfunding site, draws a shocking comparison via mock magazine covers. 

5. Don't Be That Guy

Remember that phrase “No means no”? Well, what about the situations where saying no isn’t an option? The Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton’s “Don't Be That Guy” ad campaign challenges assumptions about sexual assault by addressing consent. Directed at potential assailants, the campaign recognizes sexual assault can happen to anyone, and therefore doesn’t blame the victim. While the aftermath of an assault is traumatic enough, all too often society questions what the victim may have done to deserve the violation. By speaking directly to potential assailants, this campaign recognizes that the offenders are “ultimately the ones who hold the power and responsibility to end sexual assault.”