The importance of purpose-driven advertising is now widely recognised by consumers and brands alike.
Although advertising often serves a functional purpose (i.e. selling products) the right campaigns can achieve so much more. Ad campaigns can change public perceptions, influence human behaviours, and raise awareness of societal issues.
Many brands and agencies now feel a responsibility to create more meaningful campaigns and use their platforms to deliver purpose-driven messaging.
Industry awards play an important role in showcasing creative agencies that are using their talent to drive change and tackle global challenges.
These awards publicly recognise worthy campaigns, reward the agencies producing them, and can even inspire others to contribute to charitable causes.
The Purpose Awards are an excellent example of this type of industry recognition, shining a light on the best social-purpose campaigns and the creative brains behind them.
What are the Purpose Awards?
The Purpose Awards were founded to ‘reward creative campaigns that further positive causes’.
The awards involve campaigns from a range of different sectors and involve judges from various established agencies and businesses. Agencies can be nominated in several awards categories, from Charity to Public Sector and Collaboration.
The Purpose Awards offer a number of benefits to both advertisers and agencies.
Businesses can boost their reputation through an award win, motivate their teams to create innovative work and make their mark in the advertising industry.
However, one of the most important roles that the Purpose Awards play is bringing much-needed attention to pressing social issues. The more purpose-driven campaigns are showcased, the more likely they are to reach consumers and drive change.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the agencies nominated for Purpose Awards in 2022, and the campaigns that have earned them a well-deserved place in their categories.
The fashion industry has traditionally received a fair amount of criticism for wasteful and harmful manufacturing processes.
European lifestyle brand Zalando decided to take action and transform its online business into a more sustainable fashion platform.
As part of this effort, Zalando launched a ‘Sustainability Award’ to support and reward the most sustainable fashion brands in the industry.
Zalando ultimately gave this award to ‘House of Dagmar’, a Swedish fashion brand. The businesses then collaborated to launch a unique capsule collection, using sustainable materials and environmentally-responsible manufacturing processes.
Smarts, Zalando’s PR and content agency, helped to create a visual campaign highlighting the unique purpose behind this capsule collection.
The campaign was an enormous success, driving mass awareness of the collaboration, high customer engagement with the collection, and increased understanding of the importance of sustainability in fashion.
Purple Tuesday encourages organisations of all sizes to improve customer experiences for disabled shoppers.
The initiative aims to reward businesses that are supporting disabled customers, celebrate the progress made in different industries, and highlight opportunities for improvement.
To help raise public awareness of Purple Tuesday, Barley Communications created a bold visual campaign that drew attention to the struggles of disabled shoppers, and also highlighted specific issues that had arisen after the pandemic.
The video content was showcased on the iconic Piccadilly Lights in London on the morning of Purple Tuesday, with key partners in attendance and a YouTube live stream set up.
The campaign was highly effective. 5,000 new organisations joined the Purple Tuesday cause in 2021, 210 pieces of media coverage were generated, and #PurpleTuesday trended globally at #2 on Twitter.
This kind of mass visibility is crucial to the success of Purple Tuesday, and the momentum of the programme is only continuing to grow.
Plastic waste has become a serious and pressing issue for beaches all over the world.
Not only does plastic litter ruin the aesthetic of a beach, but it also poses a genuine threat to wildlife and natural ecosystems.
In 2021, the ocean conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage decided to make a stand.
The ‘Million Mile Beach Clean’ initiative was launched (the largest plastic clean-up operation ever attempted) with the aim of encouraging 100,000 volunteers to clean 10 miles of green or blue space.
Purpose-driven PR agency Greenhouse Communications created an exceptional media campaign that boosted awareness of the Million Mile Beach Clean and spurred the public into action.
As part of this campaign, an impressive 50-metre sand art installation was created at Cayton Bay in Yorkshire, highlighting the stark impact of plastic waste in natural environments.
(And if a giant seal art installation can’t tackle plastic waste, we’re not sure what can.)
The results of the Million Mile Beach Clean campaign speak for themselves. 142,428 volunteers removed 398,798 kilos of litter from over 1.1 million miles of coastline and countryside.
Afghanistan has faced a huge number of challenges as a country in recent years, but the situation that everyday citizens faced in 2021 was particularly bleak.
A combination of internal conflicts, regime changes, drought, and economic collapse left millions of individuals struggling with chronic poverty and hunger.
This crisis prompted the Disasters Emergency Committee to launch an urgent campaign in December 2021, and a quick response to the disaster was critical. John Ayling & Associates used their proven expertise in running successful charity campaigns to drive action.
£38.1 million has already been raised to help the Disasters Emergency Committee (and its associated charities) to support the most vulnerable citizens of Afghanistan. This includes the distribution of emergency food rations and the deployment of medical teams.
Although the situation in Afghanistan is still dire, the campaign has proven the incredible power of advertising to rally the general public and generate significant donations.
Mars has focused strongly on achieving gender equality within its business, concentrating on internal elements such as gender-balanced leadership teams and equal pay.
However, the business realised that although internal company progress was a big step, equality efforts needed to be continued externally. The action-led initiative ‘Full Potential’ was launched, with a mission to empower women from all walks of life.
One of the biggest issues that women face when it comes to workplace equality is communicating their problems. It can be difficult for women to find a platform that allows them to express themselves and be heard by their employers.
To combat this challenge, Mars and Revolt set up the #HereToBeHeard campaign. The aim was simple - a global listening exercise that asked women to express what they needed in order to achieve their full potential.
Over 10,000 women responded directly to this campaign, providing valuable insights on work-life balance, gender equality, and the need for men to play a more active role in empowering women.
This campaign proves that effective purpose-driven advertising doesn’t always need to be one-way traffic. Sometimes the best thing that global brands can do is listen.
At Harmonic we’ve been working hard to secure our own B-Corp status as a business, and we’re almost there.
We’re incredibly passionate about working with other B-Corp brands and companies that are invested in social purpose, equality, and workplace inclusion.
If you’re a purpose-driven business looking to build your Finance, Client Services, Strategy or People/HR functions please get in touch with the Harmonic team.