Thursday Thinky: Art, Activism & Inclusivity
We did it, people. We resisted the urge to include all of the campaigns mentioning Lysol and a certain presidential advice that we won’t repeat in today’s Thinky. But don’t worry, we still have plenty of materials to share with you!
The role of art–whether it’s music, photography, painting, etc.–has been especially important in helping everyone cope with the current situation. Apart from the impact covid-19 is having on all of us, we can’t forget that there are other issues that continue to hurt a lot of people. That’s why Ben & Jerry’s has decided to keep focusing on these rather than joining the coronavirus fight. Last but not least, the Institute of Coding wants to make sure that we are taking advantage of our new virtual reality to promote diversity and inclusivity for our digital future.
Have a good read, we’ll see you in May!
Creative & Brand
From Sarah (Sr Content Strategist + Copywriter): While we keep connecting to people outside our homes through the magic of email, text, social, WhatsApp, Facetime, Zoom, Hangouts, HouseParty (pick your poison)—which is completely necessary to keep your head on straight these days—there’s something to be said about the power of receiving a physical, tacticle piece of old fashioned snail mail.
Specifically, postcards. Greetings from Lockdown is a series of postcards designed around the everyday views that people are seeing from their very own windows. The designers working on the project put their own finishing touches on the art, but have no say over the subject or composition. They’re just given what they’re given, making each postcard a completely unique 4 x 6 creative challenge. We’ve seen so much creativity come out of this crisis, and this one caught our attention because it’s not just one-way, and not just digital. High five to keeping things human.
Ben & Jerry’s – Ben & Jerry’s activism chief on fighting for the causes currently being neglected (The Drum)
From Sarah (Sr Content Strategist + Copywriter): Did you know last week was 4/20? In fact, the whole month is technically 4/20. Whether you celebrated or not, the unabashed social advocates at Ben and Jerry’s, whose main demographic skews white (ahem, Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Dough), used the occasion to bring attention to an issue that may seem unrelated on the surface: black injustice.
However, there’s more beneath the scoop. B&Js has a history of focusing its attention on social issues that often fall under the radar. And because most drug related arrests affect the black community, the brand launched this year’s 4/20 initiative with the goal of inspiring 15,000 people to write to Congress to support the More Act, legalizing cannabis and expunging prior cannabis convictions. Even though weed and justic reform may not be top of mind during the pandemic, they proceeded as planned: and it paid off. “By April 21, more than 65,000 messages had been sent to legislators and Ben & Jerry’s 420 work had racked up 120m impressions online.” Their goal wasn’t sales, it was impact. And its refreshing to see brands sticking to their intuition to make progress beyond the pandemic.
The Uniting Power of Music During Isolation (Muse by Clio)
From Sarah (Sr Content Strategist + Copywriter): One of the many universal truths that has come from this pandemic is that music can be a unifying force that brings together people by the millions. Need proof? Travis Scott drew a crowd of 12.3 million during a 15 minute set on Fortnite, which, more than likely, was probably his largest crowd ever for a show.
So why aren’t more brands and nonprofits, especially those whose audiences are so tuned-into the music scene, jumping on this trend more? All across Europe and the U.K., people are taking to their balconies in song, building community, showing solidarity, and honestly, just taking a much needed sanity break from the barrage of information coming from every other outlet. How can we do more to leverage the power music to bring people together and inspire greater collective action?
Ad Council – The Ad Council ramps up industry-wide Covid-19 response efforts (The Drum)
From Sarah (Sr Content Strategist + Copywriter): A few weeks ago, we shared the AdCouncil’s #AloneTogether campaign that was created in partnership with the White House. While it was direct and to the point, it left us wanting a whole lot more in terms of feelings and general creativity.
In their newest phase of the #AloneTogether campaign, they’re taking to the streets with an #OutThereForUs PSA, serving as a giant thank you letter to essential workers, putting bus drivers, postal workers and grocery store clerks in the same bucket as doctors, nurses and healthcare staff. Props on getting in the feels!
They’ve also responded to the deterioration of mental health caused by the isolation and stress we’re all facing by launching a new website with resources and help, that again, while being direct, leaves us wanting a whole lot more in terms of creative and unique ways for exploring help in the time of COVID-19.
Institute of Coding – IoC launches ‘404 Not Found’ content series to invite everyone to be part of a diverse digital future (Little Black Book)
From Melvin (Account Director): To challenge perceptions of the digital sector and reboot the system, the Institute of Coding’s CTRL Your Future campaign has for mission to encourage more diversity and inclusion across digital education and careers. As part of that initiative, the IoC in partnership with Karmarama, has launched a three-part IGTV series that explores important issues such as AI bias, sustainable fashion and accessible gaming – as well as a virtual coding club for young people to learn vital digital skills online.
From the article: “The series is about confronting uncomfortable societal truths. The tech world is just as much a part of our culture as Marmite or Brexit and throws up the same heated debates. We didn’t shy away from the issues but tackled them head on, hearing the voices of the people on the front line within those spaces who are changing things for the better.”
To do that and to appeal to a younger and more diverse audience, the IoC uses a vibrant color palette on its Instagram page and this style carries over to the IGTV series produced by Girls in Film, an all-female team who share the CTRL Your Future ethos of diversity and inclusivity.
From Sarah (Sr Content Strategist + Copywriter): It might seem counterintuitive for an airline to WANT people to stay home (especially when so many domestic carriers are pushing back on requests to make masks mandatory). But there’s always an exception to the rule.
Thai Airways knows the importance of social distancing right now, so they created a reward system–and an app–that gives their customers loyalty points for NOT going anywhere. Through geo-tracking, the airlines’ “Stay Home Miles Exchange” app recognizes when the users stay home, and rewards them with frequent flier points to use later, once travel becomes safe again. Not only is this a clever loyalty tactic, but it’s a really smart behavioral manipulation: giving people a reason to do something beneficial instead of leveraging punishment for doing something potentially harmful.
Instagram – Instagram now allows users to fundraise for nonprofits while streaming (TechCrunch)
From Nicola Leckie (Account Director): TikTok, ya don’t stop. TikTok added 12 million unique visitors in March alone and from January to March, when coronavirus lockdowns began, TikTok’s unique U.S. visitor count climbed 48.3%. The reasons for the growth are obvious: we’re all home, especially all those college kids who are bringing their families onto the platform, it’s fun, and it’s a way to connect. On Monday, the platform launched donation stickers, allowing creators to fundraise for coronavirus relief efforts. The donations themselves are handled through Tiltify and a limited number of charities are supported with the launch including orgs like CDC Foundation, Meals on Wheels, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and No Kid Hungry.
Then on Tuesday, Instagram announced that users can now fundraise for nonprofits while live streaming – sort of a virtual telethon experience. It’s a week until #GivingTuesdayNow and this announcement could make for some fun campaigns. How can you work Instagram fundraising into your Giving Tuesday Now plans? Does your organization have celebrity ambassadors who could promote your cause? Are there ways you can engage your brand ambassadors to encourage them to fundraise through Insta? And, could I get through this isolation without @thelesliejordan? (I don’t think so)
UFCW & Covid-19 (ufcw.com)
From Clara (Senior Advocacy Account Strategist): During this crisis, UFCW is working hard to protect the people who are working hard on the front lines, from nurses to grocery store employees. They’ve set up two text update options, one for their members to get instant updates from their local unions and another for shoppers who want to know what they can do to support their community grocery, retail, and healthcare workers.
UFCW is also working on five main objectives to make sure American workers’ voices are represented as policies and decisions are made. They’ve stacked their landing page with resources for their members and relevant news updates. Great to see these critical members of society who are supporting the unprecedented demand for healthcare and groceries are being resourced on keeping safe and their voices are being heard as leaders across the country make plans to head toward recovery. Bonus points for digital organizing and getting such a great resource up in a short time.
What Else Caught Our Attention This Week
Visualization for Impact: This Minimalist Ridesharing Ad Asks You to Visualize Your First Trip After Quarantine.
Video games for Impact: Minecraft creators and AKQA launch spin-off pandemic game Blockdown Simulator
Thanks for reading today’s Thinky. See you next week!
PS: If any of the above made your wheels spin, we’d love to hear your thoughts — get in touch with us!
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