June has been an exciting month for the world of advertising and marketing, with the Cannes Lions awards and the opportunity for brands to come together to celebrate Pride month in their own unique and innovative ways. Net Natives have had their eyes peeled as always, and this edition has been all about the brands that have used their voice to support a bigger cause, all while solidifying their core values and personality, which isn’t always an easy thing to do. So, here is what’s good this month.
In homage to the Stonewall Uprising which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, Google has launched a digital monument to commemorate the LGBTQ+ rights movement in New York City. The AI display brings users to Christopher Street Park, with an ambition to expand the exposure and understanding of the LGBTQ+ rights history. It was created by the NYC’s LGBTQ+ community centre, the National Park service and Google, fittingly named “Stonewall Forever”. A brilliant example of how brands can come together, harness new technology and show solidarity to causes that really mean something.
The walk of plastic shame
An independent grocery store in Vancouver recently took the plastic crisis into their own hands and showed the community that you’re never too small to make an impact. In efforts to stop people forgetting to bring their reusable shopping bags, East West Market started supplying embarrassing plastic bags of their own in hopes to publicly humiliate people into never forgetting again. And there’s nothing like a public display of “Colon Care”, “Wart Ointment” and “Weird Adult Video” to do the job. It got people and the press talking about the brand, the messaging and the bigger cause. It pays to be bold sometimes.
Go back to Africa
Let’s be honest, we have to talk about Cannes Lions, celebrating all things creative this month. We especially marvelled in seeing how data and strategy can (and does) now win at these prestigious awards ceremonies (something we’re passionate about). A data-first campaign created by FCB/Six, commissioned by Black and Abroad, transformed the hateful and racist narrative around “Go Back To Africa” into the powerful, emotional epicentre of their campaign. By using powerful AI capabilities, user-generated content was harvested from social media to create the campaign, showing that data can be ethical and for good. So much so, #GoBackToAfrica won Canada’s first Grand Prix award and turn the derogatory insult on its head, showing the world with data that Africa is worth going back to.
A dose of healthy competition never hurts anyone
We often talk about the importance of an authentic and relatable brand, and BMW flew that flag brilliantly with their farewell Youtube video to retiring Mercedes-Benz’s CEO Dieter Zetsche. They showed the world that brands can be human, and at the end of the day, intelligent and relatable storytelling is often what makes content marketing such a success. BMW took a bold route, concentrating on long-term brand awareness goals as opposed to short-lived KPIs. And due to the sharability of this video, it was effective in doing just that, all while not impacting the brand’s core character because of the tasteful execution. Check out the video and see what you think.
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