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Should Your Brand Embrace Content Activism?

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Last year there was a surge of brands embracing content activism. But many are questioning whether it’s the right choice for companies.

There’s no question that millennials dominate the market. Marketing statistics from Mediakix show how vital millennials are for companies to succeed.

While some brands have increased their exposure through content activism, there are others that lost customers and money.

So, what is content activism? Should your brand embrace it or move away from it?

What is Content Activism?

Content activism is the combination of advertising a product and showing an interest in important issues around the world.

Companies embraced brand activism so they could appeal to their millennial audience. Individuals born between 1980 – 2000 demand authentic content.

As millennials are the fastest growing consumer group, companies need to consider them in every step of their marketing efforts.

Whether it’s addressing LGBTQ issues or current immigration problems, brands are incorporating activism into their advertising strategies.

Examples of Brand Content Activism

Companies have embraced content activism and seen how beneficial it can be. Here are some examples of the best brands and their strategy.

Burger King

Burger King created their “Be Your Way” campaign in 2014 and incorporated gay rights into their advertising.

The company recognized that millennials care about gay rights and even created a Gay Pride Whopper burger and rainbow Burger King crowns.

A case study from Cause Marketing shows that the campaign increased the companies visibility and made them the top trending topic on social media.

Stella Artois

Perhaps not the company you’d associate with Women’s Rights, but Stella Artois showed how powerful brand activism can be.

Their “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign encourages people to buy Stella and the company will give women in developing companies a month worth of water for their family.

Matt Damon also starred in the advert and increased the companies presence among millennials.


P&G is known for supporting gender equality and equal opportunities. Their “We See Equal” campaign depicted people going against gender stereotypes.

The timing was perfect as it began when Donald Trump was elected and gender issues were at the forefront of peoples minds.

Gender equality will continue to dominate discussions and P&G will be able to use this to their advantage.

Why is Brand Activism Important?

The rise of social media platforms means people from minority groups have been given a voice- and they like to use it!

Facebook and Twitter have forced companies to listen to groups and portray their issues in their advertisements. This means that LGBT, women’s rights and minority groups are at the forefront of advertising.

Tiffany’s recently showed a same-sex couple in one of their advertisements. An article from Business Insider shows the impact of the advert and its positive reception.

Nobody can ignore the issues that are impacting our world. Whether it’s global warming, immigration, animal rights or gender issues, people are picking sides and voicing their opinions.

While it may seem practical for brands to stay neutral, many are finding their consumers want to know about the brands political and social views.

Uber suffered after the US travel ban when they didn’t take a stand or speak out. Staying neutral resulted in the #DeleteUber campaign, where 200,000 customers deleted the app.

Brands accept of backlash from consumers and controversial decisions often make companies the hot topic on social media.

The Pros & Cons of Brand Content Activism

So should your brand embrace content activism? There are many pros to taking a stance, but it’s important to consider the cons too.

The Dangers of Brand Content Activism

Brand content activism can be a powerful tool if it’s used correctly. The most important thing, is choosing the right issue.

Your brand should be able to show its passion for a cause and the issue must have some relevance to the company and consumer base.

Starbucks 2015 “Race Together” campaign received a negative response from the public. They felt the company was using an important issue to make money instead of highlighting the problems.

The company also received a backlash when they committed to hiring thousands of refugees. While many found it positive, supporters of veterans were unhappy about the campaign.

While content activism is important for brands, not doing it right can lead to companies losing their customers and reputation.

The Benefits of Brand Content Activism

One benefit of supporting a cause is making the world a better place and raising awareness about global issues.

Businesses can also benefit by reaching a wider audience, increasing their customer base and see an increase in their consumer retention rates.

People enjoy buying products from brands that support important causes and will stay loyal to the company.

The point is, content activism has paved the way for companies to show consumers they care and have a voice.

Any brand that wants to succeed should embrace content activism or risk being left behind in favor of brands that do.

Embracing Content Activism

If you’ve picked a cause you believe in and it fits your brand, you need to make sure you promote it in your content strategies.

You can do this by creating a landing page which is dedicated to the cause and details your efforts to support it.

This is also a fantastic way to build up your email list because you can offer to update customers about the cause while adding new offers and promotions into the content.

Many are wondering “Where will brand activism be in 2019?” If companies want to succeed in their efforts, they need to consider how the market is changing and consumer demands.

Staying passionate about the cause and creating exceptional content will make sure you stay afloat in the sea of companies embracing brand activism.

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When it comes time to pick a content provider, a bargain isn’t always the best way to go. Content is more than filler; it’s what draws visitors to your site, but inspired content keeps them there. It keeps them coming back. Content is a relationship. It’s your brand. We get it. Furthermore, we can deliver it. Contact us today for a quote.



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