Brands please do join the conversation, just make sure it’s the right one


Connecting to the zeitgeist of what’s happening around you can fall flat or be a force for good. There is definitely a move and I believe a welcome for brands to get more involved, but to be successful, it needs to be genuine and it needs to be relevant (to brand and audience) as well as realistic. No one is going to believe a Pepsi is going to change the world… sorry guys.

So here is a reminder that when you get it right, marketing has an awesome power to do good or provoke change, even when promoting a product!

Here is my top 5. What’s yours?

1. Medline Pink Glove Dance.

In 2009 Medline changed their blue exam gloves to pink to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. The same year they created the original Pink Glove dance. The idea snowballed into a yearly competition and now in its 7th year, it’s gone global and raised over $1.2million for Breast Cancer Charities.

Medline itself has donated over $1.7million to Breast Cancer Now Foundation.

2. Always Like a Girl.

I picked this over the Dove Real Women because as a parent of a little girl, I am constantly aware of how even at a young age, what she experiences now will have a massive impact on who she becomes. While it does not have the power alone to change gender stereotypes, it brings the conversation into the home and if we as parents are all talking about it, then we can all start to affect change.

3. Greenpeace. Everything is not awesome.

Holding brands accountable is something we should not shy away from, and Greenpeace certainly did that. Whether it was right or wrong to target Lego specifically, it was certainly an uncomfortable partnership in the eyes of many. Not only did the campaign result in Lego not renewing its contract with Shell, but Lego are investing $150 million in developing new sustainable materials for its toys which may well have an even more positive impact on the plastics industry as a whole.

4. Benetton.

It would be hard not to have Benetton on this list. Mainly because it is one of the few brands that has had cause-related marketing at its heart since its inception. It’s not always got it right, but its consistent approach makes it feel far more authentic than most politically charged adverts of recent times… Superbowl?

It’s good to see their latest work being less about provocation and more about issues it can have an actual impact on.

5. Finally

Ok, one I was involved in so maybe I am a little biased, but it still does shock me how many clothes we throw away every year and how little the fashion world is doing to change it.

Both M&S with Schwopping and H&M with their Conscious range are doing their part to bring this message to the High Street, but both could be doing more to get the message out there. And H&M still feels a little disingenuous considering it’s a huge proponent of fast fashion over timeless classics.

Perhaps there can be a happy medium?



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