More brands today are using digital campaigns to signpost their values (think Nike, Dove and Under Armour), leaving people in no doubt as to where they stand, and how they will effect positive change. Being big with global reach helps, but even then bravery is fraught with reputational and financial risk. Just ask L’Oreal or Pepsi.
So why do it?
We have been supporting one of the world’s leading brands in launching a new campaign on parenting styles.
As a father of two, the real-life stories featured in the campaign rang true. How we choose to raise our kids generates daily debate for parents. The feeling of being judged by others is inescapable and research shows it can lead to a crisis in parental confidence, even mental health issues in some cases.
Starting these conversations and taking a stance can divide opinion and prove controversial for brands. In today’s digital world, people express their opinion - positive and negative - in an instant through social media. Effectively managing these immediate reactions and the risk of reputational fall out on a global scale means being prepared, knowing that whenever and however people react, you are ready to handle it.
How did we help?
We started by building a picture of the digital landscape, mapping out the possible reactions in the build up to launch, and anticipating how different parents might respond to elements of the campaign.
Our expertise in crisis management and corporate communications, in particular on social media, means we are well equipped to advise on the practical steps the brand should take if parents react negatively.
It is hugely encouraging to see a brand willing to wade into these discussions, to shine a light on such an important and at times divisive issue. Being bold, positive and strong is not without risk, but much like parenting, preparation goes a long way to making lasting and life-changing progress.
Steven Van Loy.