We commonly think of using marketing principles and practices to promote business and grow revenue. And that’s fine – up to a certain point. However, marketing can be so much more.
We know that marketing is used to grow businesses and organizations. Increased revenue usually leads to new research and development, new products and services, and strong returns for shareholders and stakeholders. Lots of people benefit from this. And that’s good. But it is only part of the story. Marketing can also be used to help society in very powerful ways.
In one example, advertising agency Havas Tel Aviv recently used it powers for good when it partnered with Laisha, a popular women’s magazine in Tel Aviv, to promote a domestic abuse hotline. A study of women in Israel had found that most women were not even aware that a hotline number for domestic abuse even existed. Therefore, for the promotion the agency created a simple cover page for Laisha with the 24/7 helpline phone number in large white letters on a black background. Basically, making it an impossible-to-miss cover. The text stated that women who suffer from domestic violence are not alone – and that the anonymous phone line offers help in all languages.
The result: An increase in calls to the hotline by 500%!
Musicians and artists also are powerful contributors to social programs and awareness. Several years ago rapper Logic recorded the song titled “1-800-273-8255,” directing young people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number. The song chronicled a youth’s journey through depression to a suicide prevention call. The song was nominated for Grammy awards for song of the year and best music video as well as a MTV music video award. But the most stunning result was the increase in calls for help during its release.
The results: 9,915 more calls to the support line were made in the 34-day period after the Grammy and MTV Music Award shows! The song’s impact contributed to an estimated 245 fewer suicides over the same period. That’s powerful!
Consider: Marketing makes a difference in many ways.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss how marketers can be active with social responsibility and justice.
- What skill sets translate from corporations to community service?
- Show Logic’s video: https://youtu.be/Kb24RrHIbFk
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select a social issue or a community program that they admire.
- Challenge each team to develop a marketing tactic to highlight the ways in with the programs can help people.
- Alternatively, have each team research an existing social program and analyze its messaging and tactics (ex: Red Cross, Big Brothers, etc.)
Sources: Ansari, T., (Dec. 15, 2021). Rapper Logic’s song about suicide prevention may have saved hundreds of lives, study says, Wall Street Journal; Griner, D. (Dec. 2, 2021). This magazine cover boosted calls to an abuse hotline by 500%. Ad Week.