Campaigns in support of a social cause: Best of 2014


What can be better than an experiential campaign with a social cause attached to it? If we rate campaigns on the scale of brand recall orbrand connect social cause campaigns can create deep impact. The grounds of this notion can be well stated with the example of a social cause campaign that in the span of two odd months raised $100 million. Yes, you got that right. That’s exactly the amount raised by the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Ice Bucket Challenge. The accomplishment of the Ice Bucket Challenge is an example of the fact that if executed rightly, social cause marketing can garner public interest and support. What generally is the idea behind social cause experiential campaigns- – ‘emotional connect’, ‘wide coverage’, ‘word of mouth promotion’.

The Indian version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Rice Bucket Challenge is the brainchild of ManjulathaKalanidhi, a journalist from Hyderabad. Within one month of its launch, the concept gained massive popularity across the country and managed to induce the spirit of benevolence in people of all ages. To participate, in this social campaign one needed to donate a bowl of rice (or more if they want to) to any needy person and post a picture on the Rice Bucket Challenge’s Facebook page tagging friends who they further suggest to take up the challenge. The massive popularity of the campaign and its wide reach could be calculated by its Facebook page which garnered over 64,000 likes within a month of its inception. For this great initiative, Manjulatha has been awarded the Karmaveer Chakra Award and the Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship by iCONGO, an international confederation of NGOs, and the United Nations.

Tata Tea has been an actively participating and contributing towards social cause marketing. Launched with the same motive, its latest campaign – ‘Power of 49’, launched under the aegis of ‘The Jaago Re movement’, emphasized on promoting equal status for women in the society and encouraging women empowerment . The reason behind using ‘49’ in Power of 49, symbolizes the percentage of women on the electoral rolls. The campaign deals with issues related to domestic violence, the public safety of women, education and employment and the latest being to encourage women to cast their votes in the recently concluded elections. The campaign effectively turned into a revolution with the support of known personalities like ShabanaAzmi, KiranBedi, and RanjanaKumari. Power of 49 campaign was not constrained to the issues faced by women but also celebrated achievements of women in every walk of life.

A recent study by the World Health Organization states that only 27 percent of drivers wear a seat belt despite being mandatory. The hijras who are regarded by people as mere nuisance mainly for ones on the road, but the new campaign by Channel V and Ogilvy- ‘The Seatbelt Crew’ cleverly projected them as entertainers who used humor to carry home a lifesaving message.The social campaign, created by India Ogilvy, displayed a tetchy routine at a busy artery in Mumbai with the hijras demonstrating the importance of wearing a seat belt. Dressed in smart uniforms, they imitated airline hostesses, squeezing between the lines of cars and clapping in unison as their leader explained out important instructions to drivers.

Since the hijras in our tradition are viewed as auspicious, so their advocacy campaign to cut down on traffic fatalities turned into a runaway hit. Thus a great cause was brought to life in a splendid experiential manner.

In the wake the recent Kashmir floods, that has left behind a trail of devastation and destruction, the entertainment industry of India led by the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), the Film and Television Producers Guild and the global media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEE) have commenced a fund-raiser campaign, “Hum Hain…Umeed-e-Kashmir.”

With the aim of generating awareness and collecting funds for the people of Kashmir who have lost their family members, homes, property and livelihoods, Hum Hain…Umeed e Kashmir was hosted at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium in Delhi on 18th October in the presence of several bollywood celebrities.

Tickets for the event and all proceeds were completely dedicated to the charity United Way. Simultaneous live events on grounds across 7 cities on October 18 with the prime event at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi and other simultaneous events were being held in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkatta and Jaipur.

In such stiff competition today, when all music festivals are battling to make their maximum profits, Sunburn also undertook the social cause initiative of helping the flood affected victims of Jammu and Kashmir. In lieu of which Sunburn opened a 24 hour window where all Sunburn Season 8 Event tickets were available on sale at a flat 10% discount. Through this campaign it pledged to donate 50% of the sales proceeds to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund and thus contribute in rebuilding the lives of J&K residents.

With a large number of people being displaced from their homes, and property worth crores of rupees being damaged; Kashmir in their perturbed condition looked forward to the country for support in restoring the society and return normalcy in the state. Sunburn thus contributed their share towards the victims of Jammu and Kashmir.

RB (formerly called Reckitt Benckiser) with its brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchanin collaboration with NDTV and Facebook launched its social cause campaign- "Dettol –BanegaSwachhIndia".The campaign aimed to spread awareness around the importance of hygiene and sanitations to millions across the country.

To kick off the campaign, a "Dettol - BanegaSwachh India" bus was flagged off in October, which coveredapproximately 400 villages across 8 states - Haryana, Rajasthan,Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and MP. The objective of the bus was to create awareness around hygiene and sanitation through interactive videos, posters, flyer distributions, hand-washing sessions and street plays.

With its aim of making India healthier and cleaner by 2019, RB has made a commitment to invest a sum of INR 100 crores towards this initiative across the next 5 years.

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