Social marketing campaigns aim to change the general perception of the masses and encourage them to do something about the social cause in question.
Anyone will tell you that influencing someone’s mind and getting them to act is not easy. To create evangelists for your cause, you have to make sure that people identify with the cause to an extent where they want to participate in promoting it.
The best social campaigns are those that spread its message globally across distance and time. Thoughtful campaigns are those that hit the nerves at the right spot, propel parents to educate their children about the cause, get schools to do similar campaigns, get corporations and even governments to back it up.
Here are five social causes that have raised awareness and driven people to act worldwide. It’s funny how small the world can be, when its driven by common goals.
1. Just Say No
The success of this 80s campaign, is such that just these three words will tell anyone, young or old, what the message is about. The campaign was aimed at the youth amongst whom drug abuse was running rampant at the time.
The mission of this social campaign was not only to bring public awareness to the problems of drug abuse, it was to shift the mindset of the youth into thinking that they’re “cooler” if they don’t do drugs.
The ‘Just Say No’ campaign gained momentum when the First Lady Nancy Reagan became its Chairperson. Schools throughout the US formed ‘Just Say No’ Clubs where members supported each other for not falling into the peer pressure trap. This war on drugs continues to this date on online social platforms where we even see controversial viral campaign videos running through the net such as the one below leading to crowd-sourced awareness videos like these.
Even today, the slogan Just say no” resonates with the youth.
2. World AIDS Campaign
HIV/AIDS has been an international health concern for decades. While most of the world’s AIDS victims are found in Africa, a substantial percentage of the problem is found throughout the world for there to be a concentrated campaign to raise awareness about AIDS.
Before the World Aids Campaign, there were many misconceptions about AIDS — people were afraid of the unknown and there was a stigma attached to the disease. With the help of this campaign, not only has the awareness increased, but people now know how to prevent the disease from happening.
International media picked up the campaign, sports teams started wearing ribbons to their matches to raise awareness, an international AIDS day (Dec 1st) was set up, and the United Nations established its own division to help prevent AIDS from spreading. Governments and non profits also established special programs for AIDS victims.
All this made this social marketing campaign one of the best known and well remembered campaigns that continues to do good today.
3. Breast Cancer Awareness
While the red ribbon denotes support for AIDS, the pink ribbon and the color pink are for breast cancer awareness. The Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign has been picked up by women from all walks of life. Media personalities, celebrities, sports women, even their male counterparts; have done their part in educating women to be more careful about this particular type of cancer. They also organize month long health campaigns every October.
The social cause of Breast Cancer Awareness has also been taken up by beauty product giants such as Estee Lauder. They even designed an entire pink product line to support the cause. Since they’re branched out into many countries, they’ve effectively used their international brand to help spread the word far and wide.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign works toward promoting early detection, cure and finally prevention of the disease. The campaign has raised funds for scientific research and to help women cope with breast cancer.
4. Campaign against Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a very real threat in all societies of the world. Women all over the globe have been victims of domestic violence, and the worst thing is that most of them feel like they somehow deserve it.
The Campaign Against Domestic Violence is there to tell us that no one – no woman or child deserves domestic violence. Established in 1991, it aims to raise awareness about domestic violence, establishing and improving services for women and children who are or have been victims of domestic violence, and campaigning for stricter punishment for perpetrators of domestic violence.
Because of this campaign, countries and cities have formed hotlines so that the victims can contact them for help. Shelters have also been established to house women and children who leave their homes and need a safe place to stay and in some cases anonymity.
The cause of domestic violence has been tackled in movies, books and documentaries. Local and international newspapers also regularly cover news about the psychological effects it can have on the victims.
5. Stop Global Warming
Last but not the least, global warming has been a unnerving phenomenon for a while. Even though it has been scientifically proven and we see its effects in our everyday lives, some corporations, governments and politicians still refuse to face the facts.
The Stop Global Warming Campaign has been raising awareness about the causes of global warming through virtual marches and the support of well known celebrities such as Bon Jovi, Kobe Bryant, and Leonardo DiCaprio etc. We even have stars like the Blue Man Group band together against global warming in their tours.
The campaign encourages us to live greener lives and do our part in saving the world by reducing our carbon footprint. It also calls on industries and factories worldwide to stop destroying the land and polluting our air and sea.
There are quite a few global warming campaigns. The good thing about them is that no matter which one you’re involved in, they all have the same goal of saving our planet. Do you have a favorite social marketing campaign? Please share it with us in the comments below.