Taking a stand. These words mean a lot more in today’s society now more than ever. Due to the current social and political climates around the world, there’s a sense of empowerment in taking a stand for what’s right in accordance with our morals… and corporations are doing just that.
I didn’t realize the impact of a company’s activism efforts until someone recently asked me why I was still using Uber instead of Lyft. Earlier this year, #deleteUber was trending on social media in response to the company’s continued operations, which was interpreted as undermining the taxi strike at JFK airport after President Donald Trump’s immigration travel ban. In response to this viral trend online, Uber’s competitor Lyft announced that they will be donating $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) …I know, so #activism right. This ultimately led to an increase in Lyft’s downloads, eventually surpassing Uber.
Two weeks later, several corporations got political in their Super Bowl commercials in response to Trump’s anti-immigration policies. Airbnb and 84 Lumber to name a few. These commercials were both controversial and emotional- from a marketing perspective these commercials were successful as it got people talking!
Companies all over the world are joining in of this bandwagon of activism through their advertising. They use to say that sex sells, but contrary to belief, now it’s activism.
Typically, June represents the start of summer, aka advertisements galore on summer bodies, summer savings and fun. In recent years, June now represents LGBT Pride month and boy do these companies love showing their customers that they are taking a stand.
Corporations are fulfilling their social responsibility to satisfy their customers and no one’s a better brand ambassador than a satisfied customer!
With all this activism through advertising, it brings to question “Do these big corporations really care about the causes or is it all a marketing stunt to increase their revenues?” My response- it’s both. At the end of the day, business is business. The transformation of marketing is happening before our eyes. The landscape is changing and it’s up to corporations to keep up with these changes in order to succeed with the market.
Share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @andrewjmlow!