Tag Archives: public service announcements

South Dakota’s Unusual Anti-drug Campaign

Provocative marketing campaigns can be risky and backfire on the sender. And then other times, the campaign can hit a chord and start a broader conversation about the topic. Which of these are the case for the new South Dakota campaign against methamphetamine?

The ‘Meth. I’m on it.’ campaign was designed to focus attention on combatting the prevalence of meth in South Dakota. According to reports, meth abuse accounted for roughly 83% of court admissions for controlled substance cases in 2019 in South Dakota. The state saw a 200% increase in people seeking treatment for meth addition from 2014 to 2018. The campaign’s main call to action is to encourage everyone in the state to work together on combatting meth and its effect on the population.

But of course, the campaign generated conversation and controversy on social media outlets as viewers weighed in on the message. Many people were concerned, confused, and outright dismissive of the campaign. But the South Dakota governor replied that the “whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness.” They wanted to set a tone that would make people stop and pay attention. The campaign is also part of a broader effort to rethink offenses and increase treatments. The key point from the campaign that is that everyone is affected by meth.

What’s your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for marketing programs.
  2. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  3. Show a video of the ‘Meth. We’re on it.’ Campaign: https://youtu.be/7LVcI-DQdYA
  4. There are also plenty of news commentary videos available to discuss the campaign from a search on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0blILDdvHSw
  5. What are the students’ opinions? Have the students use their phones and devices to search for commentary about the campaign online.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid around a social or health topic. Can they take a risk but make their point?
  7. Have each team present their topic and message. What’s the opinion of the class about these?

Source:  Advertising Week; Bloomberg News; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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Marketing Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations

Marketing for a nonprofit organization can present challenges to marketers. While basic marketing principles follow the same guidelines for products, there are differences in marketing for organizations that are nonprofits providing critical services, versus products from for-profit organizations. For-profit organizations can focus marketing messages on the delivered value and benefits of the products for the consumers. It’s relatively clear-cut.

On the other hand, nonprofits have a wider audience and often have no tangible product that can be delivered to its supporters. And, instead of more easily identified consumers, nonprofits must attract and retain donors who may be giving funds only when the spirit moves them. These are not necessity purchases per se; they are donations given to support something that is important to the donor. While donors and consumers can both be considered target markets, donors are driven by passion and causes rather than immediate needs and wants. They psychology is different.

Nonprofits need to use compelling visual marketing to appeal to donors. Top nonprofit marketers use powerful videos and photos of those whose lives will be changed by the organization. Testimonials and infographics are also important tools along with clear, targeted communications in order to retain the donors. A disaster may drive donations to quickly mount, but how are the donors retained over time?

Social media is an important tool for nonprofits to reach and engage donors. Branding is also critical to build and maintain a clear identity. And, social media campaigns have the added benefit of possibly going viral. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? That was one of the top campaigns ever produced, generating $115 million in the summer of 2014 and garnered celebrity participation and donations.

All that from a bucket of ice.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of marketing for nonprofits.
  2. Show several nonprofit campaigns:
    1. Make a wish: https://www.youtube.com/user/MakeAWishFoundation
    2. Water is life – 1st world problems: https://youtu.be/fxyhfiCO_XQ
    3. Project life jacket: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectLifeJacket/
    4. Truth: https://twitter.com/truthorange
    5. Water Aid: https://www.wateraid.org/us/get-involved/give-a-shit-donation-country-page
    6. World Wildlife Fund: https://twitter.com/wwf
    7. ALS Ice bucket challenge: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team select five different nonprofit organizations that they admire.
  4. Have each team delve more deeply into one of the nonprofits, making sure that each team has a different organization.
  5. Finally, have students develop a storyboard for a nonprofit organization.

Source: Allen, Z. (15 August 2019). 8 top nonprofit online campaigns that rocked social media. Socialbrite.org.

 

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A&W Canada: No more plastic straws

Look at the photo above. What do you notice about? Yes, it states that “Change is good.” That’s a good thing of course. But, notice what the entire sculpture is made out of – plastic straws! These are the last of A&W Canada’s stock of plastic straws. The Canadian chain has been moving to paper straws over the last few months, and to celebrate the transition, it used its last 140,000 plastic straws to make the 35-foot sculpture.

Last summer, A&W Food Services of Canada promised to reduce landfill by eliminating the plastic straws. It was the first quick-service restaurant chain in North America to make such a bold promise to improve the environment.  The company estimates that the change will keep 82 million plastic straws from littering the oceans and land.

The ban on the plastic straws is one part of the company’s environmental initiatives which include food sources, packaging, energy, water usage, and waste.

Indeed, change IS good.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impact of environmental concerns on companies.
  2. What are companies doing about these concerns?
  3. View A&W Canada’s Web site values section: https://web.aw.ca/en/our-values
  4. What does this move do for the company’s brand?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team research the environmental values of a competing fast-food restaurants (e.g., McDonalds’, Wendy’s, etc.)
  6. How does A&W’s commitment impact its positioning in the marketplace?

Source:  Griner, D. (11 January, 2019). A&W Canada used the last of its plastic straws to make a sculpture announcing the change. AdWeek.

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