When we think of memorable ad campaigns, it’s striking how many include purpose. Every year, families across the UK wait to watch the John Lewis Christmas advert, which celebrates love, togetherness and belonging. Or think of Dove’s Real Beauty campaigns, which are shot without using models to share the message that beauty is for everyone.
So, the idea of purpose in advertising is nothing new. But with communities around the world more connected than ever online, there is a new and special opportunity for brands to share what they stand for.
During the pandemic, research has shown the public’s trust in many institutions fell. But it also showed that an important part of increasing that trust is believing in businesses to do the right thing, with 86% of respondents expecting CEOs to lead on social issues. That means businesses have a renewed opportunity to build a community around a cause, amplify their impact, and show up where and when it matters.
Facebook’s mission is to bring the world closer together. Social impact is inextricably linked to that mission. With over 3.4bn people and 200m business on our platforms, we have an opportunity to help individuals and brands give back.
That’s why we’ve developed products that connect people around purpose. Fundraising tools such as the ‘Donate’ button are designed to empower people to fundraise for causes their own communities care about. And the way people have used those tools has shown us how creativity and community on our platforms can create huge real-world impact, with over $5bn raised so far.
One recent Facebook campaign ‘Run in the Dark’ helped bring 17,000 runners together worldwide in support for spinal injury charity Collaborative Cures. With mass events cancelled or postponed in 2020, charities faced a major fundraising challenge. Run in the Dark took their event online and designed a campaign in partnership with Facebook that raised $1M in donor registrations and with a brand lift study also showing +33.1 points increase in ad recall lift, and a +2.6 point lift in action intent.
It’s stories such as these which remind us what can be achieved when communities are inspired to come together.
That’s why we’re delighted for the opportunity to partner with Campaign, PRWeek and Third Sector on the Purpose Awards. The awards aren’t just a way to celebrate how creativity can do good; they’re also a chance to work together to inspire more businesses to get involved with purpose.
Facebook exists at a crossroads between brands and the communities that live on our platform, meaning we see first-hand how social action doesn’t just impact the economy and consumers – doing good is also good for business.
Today, consumers expect brands and businesses to step up and think about the impact they can have, whether it’s around special moments such as Ramadan and Eid, movements like Pride or issues which impact us all, such as sustainability.
Research has shown that 8 out of 10 consumers say they are more loyal to purpose-driven brands, and one Facebook survey across 12 key markets found on average 28% of shoppers surveyed encouraged others to buy a product after learning about a business’s values, causes or practices.
A desire for supporting social causes is even more pronounced with Gen Zers. They are 1.2-times more likely than average to say it has become more important to reduce their environmental impact, and 61% of them say they’ve become more interested in activism and social causes since the pandemic began.
What’s more, consumers expect brands to lead with action, authenticity and empathy, not just token marketing gestures. Facebook can be a powerful way of helping businesses hear what these consumers truly value and build trust. Creativity then has the power to tap into these movements, spark interest and prompt action.
Take the recent Corona Pay with Plastic campaign, launched in partnership with ocean charity Parley. The bold ads invited people on Facebook and Instagram to “help us protect paradise” with photographs of plastic waste and graphics helping illustrate the scale of the problem. By including polls, Corona gave users a chance to tap “I’m in!” to show their commitment to helping.
The ads linked to a page where users could find beach clean ups in their country – and bars that would accept “pay with plastic” recycling tokens in exchange for Corona beer. Additionally, for every purchase of a limited-edition pack of beer, Corona committed to cleaning a square meter of beach.
This simple but innovative idea not only drove impact for Corona, with a 9.5 point lift in ad recall, but had amazing real-world results, helping to recruit thousands of volunteers to clean 40 million square metres of beach.
This year’s Purpose Awards come at a time when doing good is more important than ever. COVID-19 has been a challenge for many communities and businesses alike, but it has also given us an opportunity to stop and think about the way we live, to take advantage of how technology can bring us together, and to find inventive ways to feel more connected. Let’s drive that change together.
Purpose-driven brands move their business forward. Check out Facebook's Social good for Business page to find out how you can get started.